Published: 15:30, 01 August 2014
Bailiffs who threatened to repossess the property of a disabled woman after her mother was fined for driving her to a party have been called off by Medway Council.
Single mother Nikki Archer was hit with a £30 fine for driving in a bus lane in Chatham.
She was chauffeuring her 20-year-old daughter Monique, who is visually impaired and suffers from cerebral palsy, in a specially adapted vehicle.
Ms Archer, 43, said: “It’s the inconsistency of it. Just five miles away in Maidstone you are allowed to drive in bus lanes if you have a disabled badge.”
She initially appealed the penalty on the grounds of inadequate signage, but the highways department of the council didn't budge.
After unsuccessful attempts to get the fine overturned she faced a £407 fine or a visit from the bailiffs who would have taken £1,200 of property, almost £800 of which being their costs.
Repossession company JBW Judicial Services Group attended Ms Archer’s house last week at 7.30am and marked up things to take, including property adapted for her daughter’s disabilities.
Jamie Waller, CEO of JBW, said: “At no time was our agent made aware that any goods within the property were for the use of the daughter and now we are aware, the goods have been removed from our inventory.”
On Tuesday Medway Council put the case on hold for a week following complaints from Mrs Archer about JBW's conduct.
A spokesman for Kent County Council confirmed that while social services cannot influence parking decisions it has made detailed representations to Medway Council confirming Ms Archer’s circumstances.
Cllr Dan Daley, for Maidstone Central, said: “The road in question is almost designed to make money. I think Medway Council have acted way out of line in this case.”
Medway Council have now confirmed that having reviewed Mrs Archer's case and the circumstances surrounding the incident they have decided to call off the bailiffs and reduce the fine.
A Medway Council spokesman said: “Mrs Archer will now only need to pay Medway Council in full the £97 outstanding. We understand that has now been paid and the matter is closed.”
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