Common sense call as Council insist fine stands
Council officers have been branded “heartless and cold” by a young mum who was issued a parking ticket while giving birth to her baby son.
Unsympathetic officials insist they won’t reimburse a £30 fine issued for parking in a restricted zone at Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, despite being made aware of the desperate emergency that the mum-to-be found herself in.
The situation arose after staff nurse Donna Foster realised she was fully dilated and about to give birth at her Woodside home three weeks ago.
Realising there was not a second to waste partner Ian Henderson rushed her to the maternity ward, seven miles away.
And just 34 minutes later, as the couple were welcoming their first baby - Tyler Levi - into the world, they were blissfully unaware that they had been issued a parking ticket.
But after returning home and appealing the fine, the proud new parents have been left dismayed by Fife Council’s blanket refusal to scrub it.
“I was stunned when we got the reply insisting we pay up, even though we’d explained it was an emergency. It’s unbelievable,” Donna told the Gazette.
Unbeknown to the couple, Donna’s mum, Connie Sims , paid the fine, concerned that it would otherwise escalate.
But despite repeated attempts to explain the circumstances, the family and Councillor Ross Vettraino, who has taken up the case on the couple’s behalf, have been ignored by Council officers.
“We accept we parked incorrectly, but with nowhere else to park we had no choice. To carry on driving round could have meant giving birth on the front seat of the car,” explained Donna.
Cllr Vettraino has slammed heartless officials for not waiving the fine.
“The Council officer, who summarily dismissed Ms Foster’s appeal without even checking to see if she was telling the truth, didn’t do his job. He represents a Council that wants to put people first, but has spectacularly failed to do so,” said Cllr Vettraino.
There is a problem with the legislation’s six grounds on which a Penalty Charge Notice can be appealed. None of them has any regard to a situation in which human life or well-being was at stake.
“I expect the Council to exercise its discretion and put people first,” he added.
In an email to Cllr Vettraino, Angus Carmichael, network management said: “There is a formal appeals process and all correspondence is dealt with in a fair and equitable manner.
“Unfortunately I am unable to consider any representation through a third party. I do, however, note that Ms Foster totally agrees that a contravention took place.
“It is therefore unlikely that any future appeal would be upheld by the Council.”