PARENTS who bought a car for their soldier son as a welcome home present were left fuming when a council towed it away. Elizabeth Wooderson and her husband Colin, of Brixham Close in Stevenage, bought a car for their son William who came home last week a
PARENTS who bought a car for their soldier son as a welcome home present were left fuming when a council towed it away.
Elizabeth Wooderson and her husband Colin, of Brixham Close in Stevenage, bought a car for their son William who came home last week after nearly seven months serving in Iraq.
But as part of an environmental action day last Wednesday, Stevenage Borough Council towed the car away without any warning because they thought it was in a dangerous condition.
Mrs Wooderson said: "It [the car] was to be a welcome home present for my son who has been serving in Iraq. We don't have a lot of money but thought we could get him a car, do it up and have it on the road ready for when he returns."
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She said the car was parked next to their home, had been registered at the address and had a statutory off-road notification (SORN).
She said: "When my husband returned from a doctor's appointment last Wednesday morning, it had gone. All that was left was an axle stand. We rang the council, they passed us to the DVLA, they passed us back to the council, but no joy.
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"There had been no warning stickers placed on the car, nothing through the door, they just took it.
"I could understand had it been there for months, but this is not the case, it had not even been a week.
"I am totally disgusted with this, I was so looking forward to my son's safe return and now this has been spoilt.
She said: "I am very upset. I feel that this shouldn't have happened in the first place. I don't see why they have the right to just take a car like that. It is basically stealing and I was disgusted."
The family now have the car back and on Saturday it passed its MoT ready for William to use.
A spokesman said: "The council works in partnership with the DVLA, the fire service and police to regularly tackle a range of environmental issues, including abandoned, nuisance and unsafe vehicles.
"We target specific areas in the town as part of our environmental action days. This particular vehicle was identified during an environmental action day in the Symonds Green area. It was situated on land maintained at public expense.
"In consultation with the police and fire service, the vehicle was deemed in an unsafe condition. Officers attempted to contact the owner without success. It then has to be removed to storage for seven days while contact is made with the owner.
"Since the vehicle was removed we have been in contact with the owner and arrangements have been made for the vehicle to be released.