Outrage as St Albans charity gig performers given parking tickets

Elvince was one of the performers who received a parking ticket - photo courtesy of Ceri Sheehan Pho

Elvince was one of the performers who received a parking ticket - photo courtesy of Ceri Sheehan Photography - Credit: Archant

A charity concert in the city centre was marred after two of the performers were issued with parking tickets while unloading musical equipment.

Vince Citrano, also known as ‘Elvince’, owner of St Albans Barbers on Catherine Street, unloaded his equipment for the St Albans Band Aid (SABA) concert on Saturday which was raising money for Grove House Hospice and the British Heart Foundation.

Just 10 minutes after unloading his vehicle, which was parked near the Waterend Barn, he was issued with a parking ticket.

Vince tried to reason with the two parking wardens but was told his fine still stood and that he would have to appeal it if he did not want to pay.

He said: “I had intended to move my car after my performance but I wasn’t about to just leave my equipment in the city centre unattended to go and park elsewhere. There’s no way I’m going to leave my gear, not for anybody.

“The general public couldn’t believe it! I had lots of people coming up to me saying how ridiculous it was. One woman was even handing out pieces of paper asking people to complain to the council about it.”

Another musician, Mike Hodge, was issued with a ticket just 10 minutes before his set ended.

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Dene Rosewarn, who organised the event, said: “He was given the option to move his car but I pleaded, ‘he’ll be done in 10 minutes and will need to load his equipment and bring his car back otherwise’.

“The guy was only doing his job but it is nice when the human conscience kicks in and overrides the rule book to do the right thing.”

In its seventh year, St Albans Band Aid was held on St Peter’s Street and featured many artists from the district who performed while volunteers collected money.

Nearly £2,000 was raised for the two charities. Dene added: “It beggars belief that people trying to raise funds for the local hospice and doing so for free are badgered and bullied.

“They only have to be tolerant for one Saturday each year. These not-so-lovely people may one day need Grove House or some of the other charities we have raised funds for. I doubt that crossed their minds though.”

A Grove House representative offered Vince the money to pay for the ticket from some of the funds raised on the day, which the performer refused.

Vince added: “I don’t mind paying it, and there’s no way I’ll ever take money away from the charities which are so important to the community.

“Everyone who was there was attending to support the causes and there shouldn’t be two people in blue trying to ruin the day.”

A spokesperson for St Albans district council said: “We are sorry to hear that a charity fundraiser has been issued with a parking ticket.

“The council’s car parking team was not made aware of this charity event by the organisers and if they had approached us, we would have helped them make suitable car parking arrangements for those involved.

“Our civil enforcement officers would not have known that the owner of the vehicle was performing in a charity event.”