YEP Says, September 25: Taxpayer loses out as parking fines written off

Have your say

Surely it cannot be right that Leeds City Council finds itself in the position of having to write off parking tickets that could have netted it £3.75m.

After all, as cuts continue to bite hard across most areas of its operation (and yes, we’re talking about things like care home closures here), it’s not as if we don’t need the money.

Today we report that since 2008, the council has classed a total of 53,614 fixed penalty (individually involving sums of £50 and £70) as ‘bad debts’because they were deemed unlikely to be paid off and not cost-effective to chase.

Council chiefs say they were “unrecoverable” because either a bailiff has been unable to get payment or because the vehicle owner could not be traced.

And it’s not the first time this has happened: the council’s parking services department has made six requests to write off unpaid parking tickets since decriminalised parking enforcement was introduced in 2005.

We understand that a ‘cost versus benefit’ assessment of pursuing unpaid fines has to be made.

Sometimes the time, effort and manpower are not worth such a pursuit.

But that doesn’t make it acceptable or palatable.

We appreciate that it simply isn’t worth chasing many non payments when people are deemed untraceable.

But whichever way you look at it, this is our money being written off - and that rankles.

Reaching out after Hajj tragedy

GIVEN the symbolism and significance of the Hajj pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, our hearts go out to all those families who became caught up in this tragedy – or lost loved ones in yesterday’s stampede which claimed hundreds of lives.

Just as Muslim leaders have reached out to Christians and other faiths when tragedy has struck Britain, most notably the solidarity shown in the wake of the Tunisian terror attack, it is only right that people are respectful of those individuals and communities who are now in mourning.

Not only will the hand of friendship be appreciated by Muslims in their hour of grief, but it can only lead to stronger communities in the future.