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Council’s £1.5m car parking profits are revealed Record amount of cash raised from motorists

AN impatient motorist released the handbrake of an ambulance while a patient was receiving emergency care in the back – because it was blocking his parking space. Police say the man’s actions could have had “serious consequences” for the patient being treated. The offender sneaked into the cab of the ambulance, which was parked in Malt Court, Pelican Lane, Newbury, on December 29 at about 2.10pm in order to move the emergency vehicle. He released the handbrake, causing a sudden jolt, and moved the ambulance, which had been parked across the bay. The offender then brazenly drove his vehicle into the vacant spot. Police say the unexpected movement of the ambulance caused distress and discomfort to the patient who was being treated at the time. The offender is a white man, aged about 50 and is about 5ft 10ins tall and slim. He had sandy or grey messy hair and was wearing a dark khaki-coloured jacket, light blue jeans and suede boots. He was driving a red Mini Cooper with a registration plate starting RJ60. Investigating officer PC Nick Easener, based at Newbury police station, said: “The offender moved the ambulance in order to free up a parking space for himself, without considering if anyone was receiving treatment at the time. “His actions could have had very seri- ous consequences for the patient, who was receiving emergency care. “There were other members of the public in the area at the time of the inci- dent, and I am appealing for anyone with any information to come forward and contact the Thames Valley Police non- emergency number on 101.” If you do not want to speak directly to the police you can contact the indepen- dent charity Crimestoppers anony- mously on 0800 555 111. Impatient driver moves ambulance to get in car park space

Report by CHRIS ORD email chris.ord@newburynews.co.uk twitter @chriso_nwn

WEST Berkshire Council made almost £1.5m through parking charges, fines and permits in the last financial year. New figures reveal the local authority ended 2015-16 with record profits of £1,497,830 from its parking operations – £237,000 more than the previous year’s total of £1,260,043. The surplus includes funds generated from all parking activities including off- street and on-street ticket sales, penalty charge notices (PCNs) and permits, minus expenditure. The figures show that parking profits have continued to rise for the fifth year in a row, despite a continued increase in spending.

Between April 2015 and March 2016, West Berkshire Council brought in £1,969,542 from car park ticket sales and a further £130,636 from on-street ticket sales. A total of £236,110 was paid to the council in parking fines while £46,277 was paid in Bus Lane PCNs. Along with other miscellaneous income streams, the council took in a total of £3,049,776 during the financial year. n Continued on page 5

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THIS little girl is wearing cutting edge technology – quite literally. Marla Trigwell, who was born with- out a left hand, was presented with a 3D- printed hand made by a local commu- nity group just before Christmas. The three-and-a-half-year-old from Newbury hasn’t stopped wearing the appendage and her mother feels that the technology could have a major impact on children with limb difference. Find out more on page 3. Hands up if you’re happy!

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