A disabled pensioner has hit out at Lambeth council for chasing nearly £1,000 for unpaid fines after his disabled permit was faded by the sun.
Hugh Francis-Courtney, 74, was visited twice last month by bailiffs representing Lambeth. On one occasion he had to pay £430 after his van was left clamped outside his street for more than a week. On another the bailiff said he owed in the region of a further £600.
Mr Francis-Courtney said: “I have severe arthritis and I’ve had two knee operations, what do they expect me to do? I think it’s bang out of order for the council to treat me like this.”
The pensioner was given a string of parking tickets in August last year outside his home in Winterwell Road, Brixton, after the sun bleached the word “Lambeth” from his permit. He hadn’t noticed the tickets as he was housebound following his latest knee operation.
When he appealed the tickets, Lambeth cancelled some, but refused the appeal on two others. Francis-Courtney said he appealed again with no response, and heard nothing until being visited by bailiffs showed up at his door last month.
Cllr Imogen Walker, cabinet member for parking, said the council had a duty to stamp out disabled parking permit fraud.
She added: “In this particular case the badge was faded and it was Mr Frances-Courtney’s responsibility to return it to us as part of the regulations of their use. Had he contacted us, we would have been happy to supply a new one, and this whole ticketing process could have been avoided. It is vital that if people experience difficulties with their badges they keep in touch with us and we will do our very best to help.
“But given the situation in which we were not asked for a replacement and not contacted by Mr Frances-Courtney after he unsuccessfully appealed his tickets, we were left with no option but to pursue the matter further. I’m glad to hear that Mr Frances-Courtney has now finally had his blue badge replaced As a gesture of good will we have cancelled all the tickets.”