DEVIZES Mayor Pete Smith had his civic dignity stretched to the limit when he was given a parking ticket as he officiated at an event in Hillworth Park.

The ticket was served in Queens Road during the town council’s first folk festival on Sunday, August 11.

Coun Smith said: “The car park was full and I was a bit late for the start of the event, which I was supposed to be opening. I parked on the double yellow lines, which I admit was wrong, meaning to move the car as soon as possible.

“When I went to move it there was a parking attendant there giving me a ticket. I was standing there with my mayor’s chain and everything. I did appeal, but in the end I had to cough up.

“I feel he was a bit over-zealous and he could have seen the situation and made allowances. It was a Sunday and Queens Road isn’t exactly the town centre.”

Coun Smith was not alone in feeling the parking officer had overstepped the mark.

Simon Jacobs, Wiltshire councillor for Devizes and Roundway South, said: “Bearing in mind this was a Sunday and Mr Smith was on official business, I think the officer was being a little zealous.”

It is not the first time a parking officer has hit the headlines in Devizes. In 2004, while Kennet District Council was still in existence, parking attendant Michael Angell gave a parking ticket to one of the Blood Service’s vans while a donor session was taking place inside the Corn Exchange.

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “These parking restrictions are in place to help maintain access for emergency vehicles and ensure people can use Wiltshire’s roads safely.”