Council apology after parking fee mix up

A man who visited the grand reopening of a Sleaford heritage attraction after the last lockdown as relatives used to live there came away with an unexpected parting gift from a parking warden.

Eastgate car park, Sleaford, where Dave Mettam forgot to display his ticket after buying it to visit Navigation House. EMN-210830-150556001

Dave Mettam and his family travelled from Stockport to attend the reopening event of Navigation House on May 21 this year.

It was a wet and windy day and Mr Mettam quickly bought a £1.50 parking ticket before dashing over to visit the old property in Navigation Yard that was the birthplace and former home of his grandfather.

It was only later he realised in his haste he had stuck the ticket in his wallet rather than in the windscreen, but returned to find no parking fine notice on his black Saab and headed home.

They then heard from North Kesteven District Council’s fines collection office on June 24 stating he had failed to pay the discounted charge fo £25 within the 14-day initial period and were now due to pay the full cost.

Mr Mettam said the letter stated a parking fine notice had been pasted on the screen at 2.10pm, but he can only assume that it did not stick down properly on the wet glass and blew away.

He said: “We admit that, although we had bought a ticket, we had failed to display it and posted off a cheque for £25 explaining what must have happened.”

He received a letter back onl July 19 stating that NKDC understood the situation had accepted the £25 payment. But he then received a further letter on August 18 saying his argument had been rejected and he owed £75 or face court action.

Staggered and bewildered at the confusing messages, Mr Mettam turned to The Standard to help clarify things.

A spokesman for NKDC responded saying they were unsure what had gone wrong as the notes say the payment has been accepted: “It may be that the payment and automated escalation letters may have crossed over.”

She confirmed that the case is closed following the payment of the £25, apologising for the confusion and thanked The Standard for bringing this to the council’s attention.