A PARKING company has agreed to waive the fines it issued to a pair of charity fundraisers.
Joanne Thompson, Josie Hall and their choir, Vocal Expressions, raised over £1,000 for Lupus UK by bag packing at M&S Simply Food, Waterloo, on December 23 and 24.
The choir had been raising cash in memory of former Vocal Expressions singer Angharad Matthews who died from the disease aged 29, in 2006.
But the event hit a sour note when singers Ms Thompson, of Upperthong, and Ms Hall, of Shepley, each received a £50 fine in the post a few days later.
The pair had overstayed the two-and-a-half hour limit; Ms Thompson by 49 minutes and Ms Hall by a few minutes.
Over the phone Ms Thompson explained that the pair had been raising cash for charity but Parking Eye, which manages the car park at Gallagher Retail Park, initially refused to waive the fines.
Ms Thompson said: “I spoke to the parking company and they recommended that I pay it as soon as possible or I would end up with a £120 fine.
“We’ve been doing the same fundraiser for a couple of years and there’s been no trouble in the past.
“I felt quite jaded by this. It makes your blood boil when you’re doing something good.”
But after M&S and the Examiner contacted Parking Eye, the company agreed to waive Ms Thompson’s and Ms Hall’s fines.
A spokeswoman for M&S said: “As soon as the section manager found out about the fines she got in touch with Parking Eye and they have agreed to waive Ms Hall’s fine.
“As Ms Thompson has paid her fine I believe Parking Eye has agreed to refund her.”
A spokesman for Parking Eye said: “At the Gallagher Retail Park all shoppers get two-and-a-half hours of free parking.
“In the case of Ms Thompson she parked for three hours and 19 minutes, and so subsequently received a charge which she then paid.
“However Parking Eye operates a fully audited appeals process, and we encourage any motorist to appeal if they feel there are mitigating circumstances in their case.
“Ms Thompson appealed her parking charge, and provided evidence of the charitable nature of her visit. In light of this we were happy to refund her charge.”
Lupus is a condition which causes the immune system to mistakenly attack the body’s organs and tissue.
The illness, which is currently incurable, causes extreme fatigue, a rash and sore muscles and joints.
For more information on lupus visit: www.lupusuk.org.uk.