Published: 24/05/2018 13:00 - Updated: 24/05/2018 12:54

Councillor upset by HQ parking fiasco

Written byNeil MacPhail


Some councillors have been complaining after being ticketed while parked at council HQ.

An Inverness councillor was upset by the public reaction to news about parking tickets being slapped on six councillors’ cars outside council HQ – but said many were correct.

The story generated much social media comment with people saying that councillors should not expect to be treated differently to the general public.

Councillor Janet Campbell, Inverness Central, said she agreed with the public, but did not know if she would pay the fine as a member of council staff had done her a favour and parked her car for her.

When asked if she felt inclined to resign over the issue, she said: "I am not going to comment on that, but I may have more to say on that later."

She said: "I actually agree with the comments on the website. Councillors should not get any concessions other than what members of the public would get.

"In years gone by there was a gentleman’s agreement that if you couldn’t find a space at headquarters, you double parked and asked reception to let you know if someone wanted out. But in the past 10 months parking is very limited as a result of areas being marked out.

"We have an obligation, the same as staff have, to attend there, but it makes life extremely difficult for a whole lot of people.

"It’s not a nice position to be in when you have so many stresses and strains in your everyday life because of the pressures you have as a councillor.

"We have a huge workload so it is a pity we have this too. 

"It is causing a great deal of problems and you just dread going to Glenurquhart Road HQ because you don’t know what is facing you. This is a matter I could do without, and I am sorry that steps to find a resolution are not being taken."

Another victim of the council’s own parking wardens, Cllr Derek MacLeod, Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh, said he would pay up the £60 fine if he broke the Council Code of Conduct.

"If it affects my standing as a councillor I suppose I will have to pay," he said.

Cllr MacLeod previously described the action of the parking attendant as "over zealous."

One of the other victims of the parking attendants, Cllr Glynis Campbell-Sinclair, said previously that there was not a single space in the HQ car park or Eden Court next door so she parked on the grass and got a ticket.

She also called for a rethink on how parking is managed at the council HQ.

"It is a perfect disgrace. We are requested to attend meetings at HQ, and there aren’t enough parking spaces.

"There has to be a rethink on how the parking at HQ is going to be managed. It’s a joke."

Highland Council said parking tickets were regularly given to cars at its car park.

The social media comments were pretty scathing.

They included one from Graham Nicol, who said: "How long until they find a way to claim them back as expenses?"

And Elizabeth Dallas said: "No sympathy for them. If it is good enough that we have to pay to park in designated areas then why should it be any different for them?"

Steve Williamson posted: "Hope housing management are caught too. They will not help you with your situation yet we pay rent for their wages."

Richard Anderson said: "Good – they deserve it."

Eileen Degan posted: "Why should they be exempt from parking charges? They get paid enough!"

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