A senior councillor who used his council parking permit to leave his car in a pay-and-display for free while he jetted off on holiday has apologised.
Clr Peter McBride, a Labour Cabinet member on Kirklees Council, was exposed for abusing the ‘perk’ while he went on a sunshine break.
All Kirklees councillors are given a special ‘members’ permit’ which allows them free parking in all council car parks when they are on official council business.
Clr McBride left his car for more than a week in St George’s Square, Huddersfield, next to the Kings Head pub.
His Ford Focus was still parked up when contractors moved in to set up last weekend’s Huddersfield Food and Drink Festival.
Work crews had to fence off the area around the car and huge yellow skips were deposited at either side.
The Examiner revealed that the car belonged to Dalton councillor McBride on Tuesday, just hours after he returned from holiday in Spain.
Clr McBride told the Examiner he realised he had made an error of judgment and apologised.
On his return he went to the council’s parking office and effectively turned himself in.
He was issued with a parking fine and has promised to pay it.
Clr McBride told the Examiner he left the car for around 10 days. He had been to meetings in Leeds and Sheffield but on his return failed to move his car.
He then went on holiday to Spain, flying from Liverpool Airport.
“It was wrong and it’s embarrassing,” he said. “I am told I will get a fine and I will pay it. It was wrong and I am sorry. I have apologised and will pay the fine.”
When questioned further he added: “It was a stupid thing to have done.” He then hung up.
The Examiner asked the council and council leader David Sheard for a comment.
Instead the council sent a statement from Clr McBride.
The statement said: “I have apologised for any inconvenience caused to organisers of the Food and Drink Festival.
“In short, I spend a lot of time going to meetings representing Kirklees on trains from Huddersfield station and frequently park there. However, on this occasion, I parked there for a meeting in Leeds, and did not have chance to return before going on to a family holiday. This is obviously embarrassing but was unavoidable.
“Since returning, I have contacted the parking team and – as any member of the public would have received a parking ticket – I will pay the fine. I have learned my lesson the hard way.”