‘Double standards’ accusation as council parks ‘illegally’ at Petworth

The CDC van pictured outside The Leconfield Hall parked in the restricted zone
The CDC van pictured outside The Leconfield Hall parked in the restricted zone

‘Double standards’ are being applied to parking outside The Leconfield Hall in Petworth it has been claimed after Chichester District Council (CDC) appeared to flout restrictions.

Less than a month ago Petworth Town Band members had a parking ticket slapped on their vehicle by a CDC civil enforcement officer, while they were loading heavy instruments after playing at a party in the hall.

But on Friday a CDC van was pictured in exactly the same position outside the hall while CDC employees cleaned up the area outside the hall.

The picture was taken by Petworth town councillor Carry Smith, who said the van was clearly marked with the CDC logo: “I wonder if someone could explain why CDC can park at the bus stop but not Petworth Band when they were trying to pack up after playing in the Leconfield Hall,” she asked.

“This CDC vehicle parks outside the hall at least once a week for about ten minutes and I am concerned about the double standards.

“The CDC employees are doing a good job, but then so is the brilliant Petworth Town Band who were there for about four or five minutes.”

Martyn Streeter, Petworth Town Bandmaster, was given the ticket when loading his car with his wife Paula, the band’s musical director, and their son Tom who plays the tuba.

This week he told the Observer: “I think this is hilarious, but it absolutely does show double standards.

“I haven’t heard anything from Chichester District Council since I appealed the £70 fine, but I don’t think they have a leg to stand on now. They will have to revoke our parking fine.”

A spokesman for Chichester District Council said: “We schedule cleaning of Petworth town centre to take place during early mornings, when there are normally parking spaces available in the square. We apologise for this oversight and will remind our staff not to park in the bus stop.”

After receiving the fine Mr Streeter last month said he was concerned about the knock-on effect on the viability of the hall if parking fines were to be issued. “No-one in their right mind is going to continue providing services there if they are gong to get parking tickets,” he said.

As the hall only had one entrance he believed “events requiring the movement of heavy awkward articles will surely have to move to other more appropriate facilities.”

Supporting the band, chairman of the town council Chris Kemp called for common sense over parking enforcement: “There has got to be a balance between enforcement and the reasonable function of the town.”

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