hat-tip to Stephen. I can see there's a problem though. Many (though not all) councils have free parking on Sundays. Perhaps planning permission for mosques should be contingent on the construction of accompanying car parks.
from Leicester Mercury 1 February 07.
'DON'T GIVE FINES TO WORSHIPPERS'
BY TOM MACK
10:15 - 01 February 2007
Traffic wardens have been asked to avoid putting tickets on cars parked illegally outside places of worship.
The request was made by city councillors concerned about people attending mosques, churches, gurdwaras and temples in Spinney Hill ward.
However, the council said Vinci Park, the private contractor responsible for enforcement, would not be told to change its policy.
Since the beginning of this year, the company's wardens have handed out well over 4,000 tickets.
The request for leniency was made after a meeting of Spinney Hill and Stoneygate Area Committee at Moat Community College, Highfields, on Monday.
Spinney Hill ward councillor Mussa Saleh said: "We're in the process of having meetings with gurdwaras, temples and other places of worship. We asked that no action be taken at the moment.
"We want the parking officers to wait for these meetings to go ahead before they start ticketing."
When asked why drivers who practise religion should be treated differently, he replied: "The rules should apply equally, it's not just religions. If there is any event in the community, the same thing should happen."
During the meeting, Yahya Thadha, who represents the community sector on the committee, alleged that mosque leaders had had an "understanding" with police, who were in charge of policing on-street parking until January 2.
He said: "Mosques had an understanding with the police and we need to develop that understanding with the city council as a matter of urgency."
His comment was interrupted by Spinney Hill police station commander Inspector Nick Glynn, who denied the accusation.
He said: "There were no agreements between police and any mosque to say that illegal parking would not be dealt with.
"Agreements between mosques and police do not take place - and have not taken place in my reign as local policing unit commander."
After the meeting, Mr Thadha said: "The city council realises it is a sensitive issue and the council has been very good.
"I won't say they're turning a blind eye - they are still giving tickets to people who park dangerously or cause an obstruction - but they do want to bring the community together and have a discussion."
A council spokeswoman said a request had been made for allowances to be made at certain times, but denied it had been acted on.
She said officers planned to tell the area's councillors that no changes would be made to enforcement policies.
She said: "This request has been considered. The council intends to enforce the parking regulations across the city as planned."
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