Parking fine refunds after Cherwell District Council error

Parking ticket on the windscreen of a car The council will repay £11,600 worth of fines after the ombudsman's ruling

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Residents in Oxfordshire are to be refunded £11,600 worth of parking fines after a council failed to properly signpost new charges.

The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) found Cherwell District Council had not acted "reasonably" over new rules it introduced last April.

A council spokesman said the authority did not agree with the findings.

But the council said it would repay all fines issued in the nine days in April when adequate signs were not in place.

Dr Jane Martin, from the LGO, which upheld five complaints, said: "In this case I found that there was indeed unfairness, the council did not act reasonably.

'Above legal requirements'

"It was not at all fair in my view that the onus was on the complainant to check when they'd been used to not paying charges in the past."

Councillor Barry Wood said: "We are disappointed with the findings.

"This authority went over and above the legal requirements to ensure that changes to parking charges were communicated well in advance of implementation.

"In recognition of a high level of [fines] issued during the first two weeks of the changes, we introduced additional signage, as well as writing to every Blue Badge holder in the district informing them of the changes."

The council said it has the details of those affected in the district between 4 and 13 April last year and will contact them directly to repay the fines.

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