Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond recently said public sector workers like nurses were overpaid, according to a Cabinet leak. Perhaps he also sees the imposition of a £150,000 car parking fine as a triumph for private enterprise [Image: Ben Jennings].

No doubt Philip Hammond thinks a £150,000 fine is no big deal for a nurse – what with public sector salaries being so far ahead of the private sector. Right, Spreadsheet Phil?

This particular nurse – along with other medical staff at University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff – has been ordered to pay a huge amount of money to a private car parking firm that has failed to provide enough spaces for staff at the hospital.

Didn’t anything seem fishy about that, to the judge examining the case?

Isn’t it a rigged system? Staff have to attend their place of work, and must park somewhere. If the car park managing company doesn’t provide enough spaces, they end up parking in places set out for members of the public – and incur a fine. It seems like a perfect scam, to This Writer.

Add in two more elements: Firstly, the fact that parking at the hospital will become free next year, in line with the Welsh Government’s 2008 announcement that all hospital car parking charges would be scrapped.

Secondly, the fact that a new deal was forged between Cardiff and Vale Health Board and Indigo Park Services, which runs the car park, in April 2016, making it possible for the company to take staff to court over unpaid parking tickets. Previously they were legally unenforceable.

Put all those elements together and there seems a definite method to this meanness.

Despite Mr Hammond’s alleged beliefs, staff at the hospital don’t have the money to pay the fines and a crowdfunding bid has been set up to help them.

A nurse says she is facing a bill of about £150,000 in charges to a private company for parking at the hospital where she works.

The unnamed nurse is just one of 75 members of staff at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff who lost a court battle against Indigo Park Services, which manages car parks on the site.

The doctors and nurses have been ordered to pay an initial £39,000 in outstanding parking charges and £26,000 in court costs after a judge at the civil justice court ruled they must pay £128 per ticket.

Indigo brought the case against the NHS staff who parked in visitor parking while at work because there is not enough space for them all to use the allocated staff parking.

Cardiff and Vale Hospital Trust issues more than 8,500 car parking permits to staff but there are about 1,800 employee parking spaces on the entire site – meaning there is not enough space.

(Source: NHS nurse ordered to pay £150,000 in fines to private firm for parking at hospital where she works)

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