Rossendale Free Press

Wardens under fire again over jab centre fines


MORE elderly, vulnerable and disabled people have been hit with parking fines outside a coronaviru­s vaccine centre while attending to get their booster jabs.

Katherine Lavin has hit out at the council after being slapped with a ticket recently.

She said she was one of several people visiting Ramsbottom Civic Hall for the jabs and urged the council to “help the NHS do everything it can to overcome the pandemic”.

Her plea comes after a whistle-blower raised concerns about parking wardens “preying on elderly people” outside the building while it was being used for vaccinatio­ns.

During public question time at Bury’s full council meeting last Wednesday, Mrs Lavin said she and others were targeted by council enforcemen­t officers for parking outside marked bays on the car park.

Mrs Lavin told councillor­s that her experience went against the council’s policy of “providing safe places for people to go and get their vaccinatio­ns”.

She said: “I and other disabled and older people have been prosecuted. We hadn’t been there for a long time. We were there to receive our Covid jabs. By doing this how is Bury Council, helping the NHS overcome this epidemic?”

Earlier this month, LancsLive reported the concerns of whistle-blower Jackie Griffiths, 61.

Jackie, a volunteer outdoor marshal at the Ramsbottom vaccinatio­n centre for several months, said older, vulnerable visitors had been targeted by parking officials since October.

She said she had helped an 89-year-old man who had been slapped with a ticket as he was being given his Covid booster jab.

Jackie said she was appalled at the practice of targeting motorists which she claimed was working against the central principle of ease of vaccinatio­ns.

She said: “The car park is on a hill and you get elderly people who have to drive up the hill into the car park and then walk down to the centre. The bays are marked out but the paint is very worn.

“There’s also the issue of leaves obscuring the lines at this time of year.”

A spokespers­on for Bury Council, said: “The clinic at Ramsbottom Civic Hall has been extremely busy offering first and second doses of the coronaviru­s vaccine, and now booster jabs too.

“As a result, the adjacent car park is often congested with people turning up for their vaccinatio­ns.

“There is very limited room to manoeuvre, therefore it is essential that drivers park properly and in a bay in order to maximise the space available.

“We have had a number of reports of cars being damaged due to drivers trying to negotiate other people’s poor parking.

“If anyone feels they have wrongly been issued with a parking fine, we would advise them to lodge an appeal via the process outlined on the ticket.”

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