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Council quits parking fines battle.

A north council has been forced to drop efforts to claim a series of parking fines because it used incorrect wording in official letters.

Sunderland Council has told local campaigner Neil Herron that a string of appeals against parking tickets will not be contested.

The decision follows a ruling in a case taken against Aylesbury Vale Council, in Buckinghamshire.

The council was criticised for writing to motorists saying they had 28 days to pay fines, rather than specifying that the 28-day period only started when the letters were received.

Several more councils across the country have made the same mistake in letters notifying motorists their appeals have been rejected, including Sunderland.

The council said the error was due to problems with Government guidance, and the ruling only affected a small number of people who had reached an advanced stage of the appeals process.

A spokesman said: "The council has amended its procedures accordingly, following the judgment."

However, Mr Herron, who has exposed a series of flaws in the council's parking regime, said: "They've pursued people for money without having the correct documents in place. It means anybody who's appealed against a parking ticket and had a notice of rejection is entitled to money back."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 13, 2006
Words:204
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