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25th Jun, 2022

No postal reminders 'leave elderly at mercy of fines'

Malvern Editorial 12th Dec, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A HOME help worker has claimed elderly people have been left open to fines after the district council scrapped posted reminders to renew parking permits.

Sarah Rouse said some of the residents she visited had only avoided fines for not renewing the two-hour parking permits by chance, although another person had not been so lucky.

In 2012 Malvern Hills District Council stopped sending out letters to warn people their pass, allowing certain parking privileges in Malvern, would soon be out of date.

Now renewals have to completed online and the council sends out e-mail reminders instead to make cost savings.

Miss Rouse said despite registering for a permit on behalf of one person, she had never received any email this year.

The Leigh Sinton resident also criticised the fact the new time wheels which replaced the old permits did not have an expiry date on them.

“It was only by chance we checked when the payment was made last year and realised the permit was about to expire,” Miss Rouse said.

“I spoke to another customer about this who accidentally allowed their permit to expire and were only alerted when they received a parking fine.

“Several other elderly people have had no reminders and have only avoided been fined by luck.”

She added: “The obvious solution is to put dates on the wheels or to ask those without emails or texting ability to be able to still get a paper reminder. No doubt this system has saved MHDC some money but it has created a problem for those without easy computer access.”

In response Gordon Morris, street scene manager at the council, said: “In November 2012 we changed to an online system for reminders. At the time every permit holder was written to advising them of the change and telling them where to sign up.

“Several thousand customers use the system without a problem and we save £4,000 a year as a result.

“Even with paper reminders some people still overlooked renewing.”

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