A senior councillor’s apology for abusing his council parking permit when he went on holiday cut little ice with Examiner readers.
Labour Cabinet member Peter McBride used his council permit to leave his car in a pay-and-display in St George’s Square, Huddersfield, for around 10 days.
The permit allows councillors to park for free when they are on council business.
But Clr McBride, the Cabinet chief responsible for economic development and planning, left his Ford Focus near the Kings Head pub while he flew off to Spain. Last weekend the car was fenced off amid the Huddersfield Food and Drink Festival.
He’s now apologised and accepted a parking fine but Examiner readers say as an experienced councillor he should have known better.
Clr McBride is the councillor behind the controversial ‘bus gates’ scheme in Huddersfield town centre and the man charged with pushing through Kirklees Council’s planning blueprint, the Local Plan.
Writing on the Examiner Facebook page Mandie Furness said: “Local councillors should have to pay for everything like everyone else, as it’s a temporary job.
“They should only be allowed to claim back official business expenses – mileage, private hire taxis fares, standard class rail fare.
“Surely he knows enough people that could have removed the car for him, knowing he was flaunting the rules! He’s only sorry because he got caught.”
Rachel Hauser said: “If they are lucky enough to have permits should just be valid for council business only.
“Nurses in my hospital have to pay a monthly fee out of their wages to park in the staff car park.”
Jonathan Ramjauny added: “If the offending vehicle belonged to Joe Public it would have been towed away and put in a compound.”
Tristan Jackson said: “If he is a senior councillor and he can’t even plan his day without abandoning his car, which he knew to be breaking the rules, then what hope have we got of him being able to carry out other simple tasks whilst representing us?”
The council has not confirmed what the fine will be but readers want to know.
Adam Hirst did his own calculation and wrote: “Short stay car park, fine £60 per hour without a ticket x 24 hours x 10 days = £14,400. Sounds like an expensive holiday.
“I’d be interested to hear the fine he actually receives, a token gesture perhaps?”
Richard Harrison thought the problem went deeper and said: “Whether or not you agree with the free parking permit whilst on council business, this affair demonstrates once again that our councillors think that rules are for the poor people, the plebs, us!
“They think that they can do as they wish. Apology not good enough, there has to be a major change in attitude!”