New Year's Day fines have been refunded

A follow-up on the New Year's Day parking story I wrote about last week. After the initial story was reported in the Hull & East Riding Mail, the council did a U-turn. It said it would refund the fines as a goodwill gesture. It cited confusion because New Year's Day fell on a Saturday, and the bank holiday was on Monday 3 January.

The good news is the fines have been refunded, but I doubt this would have happened if some of those on the receiving end hadn't spoken to the press. I also find it difficult to believe those responsible for sending the wardens out didn't realise that regardless of it technically not being a bank holiday, January 1 is still regarded as a holiday by the majority of people. My local supermarket was open, however it traded as if it were a Sunday, and very few shops were open in Beverley on that day. Most people stay at home or visit friends and family.

What his story does highlight is the importance of keeping  pressure on councils to do the right thing. If you feel you are a victim of injustice, do not be frightened to speak out, and if necessary, get publicity for your complaint. As all councils now prepare to publish all spending above £500 on the Internet, it is the responsibility of all of us to look at this spending and highlight anything we feel is erroneous.

All's well that end's well in this story, but keep your eyes and ears open for similar things happening around the country. Don't let them off the hook.

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