Investigation after Leeds councillor is fined over blue badge

Coun Andrea McKenna.
Coun Andrea McKenna.
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An investigation has been launched into the events leading up to a court hearing involving a former lady mayoress of Leeds.

Andrea McKenna, a Labour member for Garforth and Swillington on Leeds City Council, pleaded guilty in September to misuse of a blue disabled parking badge.

She was fined £120 and also told to pay costs of £90 when the case came before magistrates in Kirklees.

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Coun McKenna was given a parking ticket after she was caught wrongfully using the blue badge on Wormald Row, off Albion Street in Leeds, on February 11 this year.

The Yorkshire Evening Post understands that, on the day of the offence, an e-mail was sent by a council officer to the local authority’s parking manager which included an unsuccessful request for the ticket to be cancelled.

The council introduced a policy of prosecuting badge cheats as a first option instead of a last resort in late 2012.

A spokesman for the Labour group on the council yesterday confirmed that it was carrying out an investigation into the case.

Coun McKenna told the YEP that she had received her parking ticket while she was in a “rush” for an appointment.

Asked if she had tried to have the ticket cancelled, Coun McKenna did not reply then put the phone down.

A council spokesman said the authority did not tolerate “misuse” of blue badges.

He went on: “This incident came to light through a routine patrol and a prosecution took place in line with the council’s policy.”

Coun McKenna served as Leeds’s lady mayoress in 2010 and 2011.

Blue badges allow people with severe mobility problems to park for free close to their destination.

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