‘I’m not going to turn away people who ask for help’

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A HAYLING councillor who helped overturn a resident’s unfair parking fine has been criticised for getting involved with issues outside his ward.

Ukip councillor John Perry was contacted by a distressed resident who had been given a £60 parking fine after visiting the Havant Health Centre, in Civic Centre Road, Havant.

The woman from Bedhampton went to Cllr Perry asking for help after she had received a parking fine from the doctors surgery despite having a blue badge, because she was unaware of the new Smart Parking system that was put in place.

The new parking enforcemnt has cameras that record the registration numbers of vehicles going in and out of the car park, and users must enter their car registration details into a machine.

Having previously had an appeal overturned, Cllr Perry managed to get the charge reversed.

But Conservative councillor Jackie Branson who represents St Faiths Ward said Cllr Perry should not have got involved.

She said: ‘It’s an unwritten rule that a councillor acts within their own ward.

‘As the relevant ward councillor, I have been dealing with the parking issue myself and I feel quite strongly that councillors represent their own ward. Even if a resident does approach you, and there have been times when it has happened to me, you should refer the person the relevant councillor.

‘Furthermore, Cllr Perry did not inform me that he was getting involved with this resident. Manners and common courtesy do not go amiss.’

Cllr Perry said he was not initially aware where the lady was from but that shouldn’t matter. He said: ‘I understand that we should deal with issues within our own wards, but if people contact us for help, then I’m not going to turn them away.

‘They should feel free to contact any councillor, I don’t see that as a problem.’