Havering Council owed �1.7m in outstanding parking fines

Havering Council is owed �1.7m in outstanding parking fines – and thousands could be written off due to a legal time limit on collection.

But officials say that they are cracking down on those who owe the money in every way they can.

A Freedom of Information request by the Recorder has revealed that the council is owed a total of �1.67m in outstanding fines, including �612,865 in this financial year, and �737,731 in 2011/2012.

Motorists who have refused to pay up still owe �4,834 from 2008/9 and �41,324.81 from 2010/11 – but under legal rules all parking fines are written off after six years.

Cllr Clarence Barrett (Resident’s Association, Cranham) said: “It seems incredible that �1.7m of unpaid parking fines have been allowed to rack up.

“It also brings into question the legitimacy of how the tickets were issued in the first place.

“On top of the �15m owed in council tax, this is another �1.7m owed to Havering council tax payers.

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“It is vital that a robust set of measures are followed to recover debts until the process reaches a stage where recovery is no longer possible.”

The council says it has recovered �2.1m in parking fines in the last financial year and is still chasing the outstanding money.

Cllr Barry Tebbutt, cabinet member for environment, said: “The statute of limitations in these situations is six years.

“Although there are outstanding fines to be collected these still fall within the six years and we are pursuing them with all of our armoury of measures, which includes demand letters, the courts, bailiff visits and even seizure of vehicles if all else fails.

“Over the last financial year we’ve recovered �2.1million in parking fines.

“A debt to the council is a potential burden upon our council tax payers and we have a moral obligation to seek collection of a debt, no matter how small of large on behalf of citizens.”

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