'I'm not Jeremy Kyle fodder' - Disabled man hit with 17 parking tickets in 14 months (From Times Series)
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Terminally ill man from North Finchley describes 'hellish' 14-month battle for disabled parking bay from Barnet Council
A disabled and terminally ill man is in the middle of a “hellish” 14-month battle to obtain a designated parking bay from Barnet Council.
Simon Caldin has been slapped with more than £1,000 worth of parking tickets since he was moved by specialist-housing officers into a disabled-friendly home in Victoria Grove, North Finchley.
The 44-year-old suffers from a rare but terminal degenerative condition called globoid cell leukodystrophy, or Krabbe disease, which will eventually prove fatal.
He was diagnosed with the condition as an adult and now has great difficulty walking and is in near constant agony.
But since he was moved into his flat in August 2012, the former plumber says he has been given absolutely no advice on parking regulations from the council.
His home falls inside the North Finchley CPZ, meaning only cars displaying residents or visitors permits can park in the street between 9am and 4.30pm.
He and his two carers have been hit with more than 17 tickets costing up to £60 each in the past 14 months for various violations including failing to properly display a disabled badge.
But Mr Caldin argues parking permits are not his priority given his poor health says his parking nightmare has got “out of control”.
He said: “It’s unbelievable. You’re in a situation where if you have a mate come over, you’re sitting there watching the car out of the window.
“I can’t park anywhere. I’ve become a prisoner in my own home. It feels like I’m on a curfew – I have to do everything before 4.30pm or else I can’t park anywhere near my home. How the parking team can say they’re helping disabled residents I don’t know.”
Mr Caldin estimates the nearest free parking space is three quarters of a mile away, and he has regularly been forced to park there and get a lift back to his home from a neighbour.
He has been in regular contact with Barnet Council’s parking team ever since he moved but says he has received little or no advice regarding a long-term solution.
When he was finally told to submit a form for a disabled parking bay recently, the council’s parking team failed to forward it to the correct department and Mr Caldin is still no closer to a resolution.
He said: “I have always been amicable with them. I shouted at a parking warden once but I’m a frustrated man – I’d had enough. It is not through not wanting to communicate with the parking team - I’m not Jeremy Kyle fodder.
“This is a ridiculous situation and it’s making me ill. Social services say it’s not their problem, the parking team have done nothing about it, and the housing team have washed their hands of me now I’m in the flat.
“The power is theirs to put this right but if it continues there’s no way I can afford to live here with the fines I’m receiving.”
After being contacted by the Times Series this week, Barnet Council issued an apology for the way it has handled the situation.
A spokesman said in a statement: “We want to apologise to Mr Cardin for the experience he has had trying to apply for a disabled parking bay.
“Applications for disabled bays should be sent to our design team but it appears that he had sent the application to Barnet Homes and our parking service.
“Mr Cardin should have been made aware of this and the application should have then been forwarded to the relevant department, but it wasn’t. We are sorry for this.
“We will be contacting Mr Cardin to ensure that a new application is logged and we will make sure he is kept informed of the progress of this application.”
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