A MUM woke up to find her car clamped on her driveway and a hefty bill for nearly £500 after not paying fine she says she never received.

Mel Godfrey, from Colchester, parked her black Ford Eco Sport in a restricted bus stop in the city centre’s High Street, earlier this year on February 6.

Despite ten months having passed, last Tuesday she received a letter from Newlyn Plc bailiffs acting on behalf of Colchester Council.

According to Mel, the document stated she had failed to pay a penalty charge issued after her parking faux pas and therefore now owed £189.

She then lodged an appeal with the authority, claiming she was never informed of the initial fine, otherwise she would have paid it.


Despite the deadline for payment being December 14, on Tuesday morning Mel was left astounded after realising her car had been clamped while it was parked at her house.

“We had no idea the car was clamped, they did not notify us and they did not even knock on the door, so I just burst into tears,” said the mother-of-two.

“I had a newborn baby with me and my four-and-a-half-year-old and we were meant to be driving to school up the road as the paths were so icy.

“However, we then had to walk causing my child to slip three times.

“We also received no notification the fine would be going up from £189 to £489 until we called to have clamped removed.

“If the original fine was received, of course, we would have paid immediately.”

Mel has now accused both council bosses and the firm brought in to enforce the punishment of having no compassion.  

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She added: “We have a 16-week-old baby boy so, being on maternity leave and with the cost of living crisis, money is tight.

"Being this close to Christmas it just shows these companies and the council have no hearts – in the current climate, who has £500 of disposable money?

“We are now talking to councillor Dave Harris regarding this injustice.”

Bosses at the North Essex Parking Partnership have now responded.

A spokesman said: “The Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) was CCTV-issued via the post and sent to the DVLA registered keeper at the DVLA registered address.

“NEPP will write to motorists up to three times in the months following the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), as happened on this occasion.

“A written appeal or payment of a PCN can be made at that time. In this case, neither was received and it was passed to the bailiff to recover the payment. 

"NEPP uses enforcement agents, who operate under statute, to collect unpaid PCNs issued for parking contraventions. 

"Any additional bailiff fees or payment plan put in place are between them and the motorist only. Once collected, the cost of the PCN is then paid to the NEPP.

“It appears some correspondence may not have been received by the motorist due to a change of address. Motorists must notify the DVLA when their address changes.

“We were contacted for the first time by the motorist, two weeks ago, when we were able to offer advice on providing a witness statement as part of the appeals process.

"Until we receive the witness statement stating they did not receive the PCN, the owner will have to continue to correspond with the bailiffs.

“If we accept the witness statement, then the case can be reset.”