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Food bags delivered to Kingston hospital

Kingston Council give parking fine to volunteer collecting food for NHS staff

A volunteer was left ‘frustrated’ after receiving a parking fine from Kingston Council while collecting food donations for NHS staff last week.

RBKares volunteer Kate Foley, 39, parked on double yellow lines on Dolphin Street in Kingston at 11:53am on 15 January as she collected food donations from Bentalls with her daughters aged three and five in the car.

Kingston resident Helen Hinton, 58, heard about the fine on social media and paid the £55 fee on her birthday yesterday to prevent others being put off volunteering.

Foley said: “I am so grateful that Helen has taken away all of the stress, but I feel really frustrated, the right thing would have been for the council to not see it through.

“I didn’t think for a second that when I explained it to the council they wouldn’t overturn it and be charitable in this particular situation.

“The reason I was there was to take donations to bring to the hospital, they are struggling so much. All of this is about helping the doctors and the nurses and the staff, it’s not about where I parked.”

After appealing the fine, an officer from Kingston Parking Services wrote to Foley to explain that they couldn’t revoke the penalty.

RBKares have donated a number of items to Kingston hospital in recent months and raised £13,377 for the staff health and well-being fund.

Hinton criticised Kingston Council for not revoking the fine despite the fact it was for a volunteer for a charitable cause.

She said: “Parking tickets being given to volunteers is unacceptable, it takes away money from charity and it stops volunteers from volunteering.

“I paid it personally, I thought I could donate to RBKares but we don’t really want donations which should be supporting the volunteers going on parking fines.

“Fining volunteers puts people off massively, most volunteers are just normal people.

“Kingston Council should show some humanity, but they are not.”

Hinton added that volunteers supporting the NHS have a special place in her heart as her son is a junior doctor in Oxford.

A Kingston Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the parking issues that have arisen as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and these are carefully considered as part of our enforcement mitigation policy when dealing with contested Penalty Charge Notices. 

“However, the council must also take into account the nature of the contravention such as the impact on pedestrians, safety and traffic flow when considering each individual case.”

You can visit the Kingston Council website here and the RBKares Crowdfunder here.

Featured image credit: Kate Foley / RBKares

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Danny Edwards
Danny Edwards
22 January 2021 8:24 pm

Being a volunteer doesn’t exempt you from traffic laws. The road in question has very clear double yellow lines and “No loading” signs. Why did she think it was acceptable to park there?

caroline ensby
caroline ensby
23 January 2021 3:54 pm

rules of the highway code are for everyones safety. leaving unattended children in a car parked on double yellow lines? . remarkable charity acts to help in such a crisis must be commended. What people do for charity and freely give their time or money is fantastic. thank you. but their own decision. consider the options for any act of kindness. the donator
could bring donation to a vehicle. like clic and collect. i once parked in the evening in the nearest space to a theatre entrance to deliver a large panto prop. (charity not paid) parking was free. i did not know rules for parking in disabled spaces apply 24/7 no matter how many empty disabled spaces there were at the time. £ 80… many tears were shed! reduced amount uf paid quickly.It was my descission. my tears . i learnt a lesson. my fault. keep yourself safe and do continue your help. it is so valuable. xxxxx

paul feast
paul feast
23 January 2021 5:36 pm

Typical. The council just roll out the usual excuses for being uncharitable. Why are councils and their employees so inflexible particularly in cases like this. But of course, money is more important than life, charity and compassion. Well done to Bentalls, the volunteer and the person who paid the ridiculous fine

Mark Gallacher
Mark Gallacher
23 January 2021 11:24 pm

Stinkers…..what a shower. Some jumped up nobody making this decision. Publish his or her name and let them justify it face to face and nit hide behind corporate anonimity.

Mary shorthouse
Mary shorthouse
24 January 2021 6:37 am

What a load of Jobsworths this this Council is. Vote them out at the next election

John Nicholson
John Nicholson
Reply to  Mary shorthouse
27 January 2021 8:59 am

It wasn’t the elected councillors who decided so voting Tories back in as a knee jerk reaction would achieve nothing.

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