LETTERS - Is supporting Wakefield city centre a waste of time?

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MY recent experience while visiting Wakefield city centre really does make me wonder if supporting your local town and business is a waste of time.

I and my family prefer to give our business to local trades in order to keep the money in the economy and help local traders.

It would seem that our local government has different views and is hell bent on driving us away to make our purchases outside our neighbourhood. Why do I make these observations?

Here’s why. On March 21 I travelled into town to visit my bank and building society both of which are near to Market Street, hence my decision to park there for an hour.

Alas, after parking my car I approached the ticket machine only to find two ladies attempting to obtain a parking ticket, with little success I should add. I also attempted with several variations of coinage but the machine rejected every coin. This left three drivers unable to purchase a valid parking ticket. What do we do?

I, in my infinite wisdom, decided to leave a note under my windscreen explaining the situation and saying that I would pay on my return. As there is no clear instructions to drivers about what to do I thought honesty would be the best way, hence I wrote an explanation and left it there. On my return some 35 minutes or so later I find my note has changed into a fixed penalty notice of £45. Within the hour I was on my computer filing an appeal.

I received a reply by post which made no reference to my note but which informed me of the judgement.

Quote: “Having investigated the matter I am unable to find any discrepancy in the machine takings for the day or any report of a machine fault.”

Who writes these things? The machine wasn’t taking any money or issuing any tickets so there wouldn’t be any tickets and who is responsible for reporting faults?

So the price for being a conscientious citizen is a fixed penalty of £45, a threat to take me to court and a request to pay by cheque or postal order, neither of which I possess.

I do, however, like many people have a container full of small change mainly 1p coins. This will have to do.

Mike Kemp

Woodland Rise