Parents have been left furious after parking wardens carried out a late-night raid on cars parked outside an awards evening for talented students.
Guests at the event, held in Grimsby Town Hall on Tuesday night, were there to celebrate the hard work of teenagers from Franklin College.
But many were left shocked after an over-zealous attendant issued £120 parking fines, despite enforcement supposedly ending at 6pm.
Pictured: Two cars outside Grimsby Town Hall on Tuesday night landed with tickets
On patrol: A pair of parking enforcement officers patrolling the roads around Grimsby Town Hall on Tuesday evening as the event was underway
While college dignitaries presented awards, including a memorial trophy honouring an 18-year-old student who died last year, tickets were slapped on at least three cars.
North East Lincolnshire Council made £282,000 from parking fines in the financial year 2016/17, with the standard rate of £60 per penalty charge, rising to £120 if not paid within 21 days.
Chairman of Governors at Franklin, Alex Baxter said: ‘Here we are trying to celebrate achievement and encourage families to be engaged with their young ones’ education and careers and this happens. I would be livid if it happened to me.
‘I thought that after 6pm there was not an issue. They are not causing an obstruction. I never knew there were officers out operating after 6pm.’
He added: ‘All our students did extremely well and we had loads of visitors. They had all dressed up smart and would not have wanted to walk too far, some in heels, and will have parked close to the town hall.
‘They will have gone out after we dispersed to enjoy meals or celebration drinks in the town centre, helping the night time economy, which is what we try to do.’
Fined: At least three vehicles were given tickets
North East Lincolnshire Council made £282,000 from parking fines in the financial year 2016/17
Karen Glean said she was dropped off at the town hall ahead of the ceremony where she saw the Ben Glean memorial trophy awarded for the first time. She said: ‘Giving out parking tickets is not very nice. It was such an lovely and uplifting event. A parking ticket would have been a real annoyance.’
A town centre businessman said: ‘I saw them doing it. It is not as if they were blocking anywhere off or obstructing a fire engine. It is nothing to do with safety.
‘There should be free parking after 6pm. Lots of other places do that. We are trying to rebuild the town centre and this is not helping. The council should be looking at revenue streams other than parking penalties.’
A council spokesman said three penalty charge notices (PCNs) were issued in the street next to Grimsby Town Hall on Tuesday night. One was for parking in a disabled bay and not displaying a blue badge and two were given for parking on a double yellow line.
The spokesman said: ‘There is parking for up to 46 cars in the car park behind Grimsby Town Hall, which was open to the public at the time. There are also parking bays in the streets next to the town hall where the waiting restrictions stops at 6pm.’