A MAN has blasted Chichester District Council for its ‘sheer incompetence’ after a row over an ‘illegal’ £70 parking ticket racked up a £1,000 bill for taxpayers.
Nicholas Sercombe, of Easebourne, has been locked in a 13-month battle with the council after he used a loading bay outside a shop in North Street, Midhurst, to load a bulky item into his car.
He received a £70 parking fine, despite the fact he was using the bay for loading and had a letter from the shop to back it up.
However, Chichester District Council (CDC) would not waive the fine, and said if Mr Sercombe didn’t pay up it would take him to a tribunal – miles away in Manchester.
He paid the fine and the 50 per cent interest the council demanded, but told them if he paid it off, he would sue them. And he did.
“I took the case to court and the council had 28 days to file a defence,” he said.
But they failed to get a defence together and lost the case a year later, in December 2012, for incorrectly issuing a parking ticket.
They were given an order to pay Mr Sercombe £930 compensation and costs.
Early in January, he contacted the council and asked when he would receive the payment.
They never called him back. He then wrote a letter giving them seven days to respond, which was also ignored.
He then told them he would have to take legal advice in order to claim his pay out.
“Now they are going to try to get the case overturned. This is a disgraceful misuse of taxpayers’ money, and it has got to stop,” said Mr Sercombe.
“They are spending more and more money but they have already wasted nearly £1,000.
“They are employing people to waste money when it could be used to repair the roads.
“They are issuing tickets illegally. People need to know because there is something dreadfully wrong here.”
When and if he finally gets his payment, Mr Sercombe said: “I will take my costs and repayment for the ticket, and donate the rest, about £300 or £400, to charity.”
A CDC spokesman said: “This matter is the subject of current court proceedings and so unfortunately, we are not allowed to comment on it at this moment in time.”
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