I've just passed words (not very polite ones in my case) with a Parking Warden who is ticketing cars in the residents parking bay in Berkeley Road. I did the same with the Wardeness on Good Friday too!
Quite apart from the iniquity of paying this bloke £30 an hour (yes that's right!) to do this task on a Bank Holiday, who for heavens' sake do his council masters think they are serving by ticketing today in this quiet residential street?
Certainly not us residents. The only possible benefit to us from this unwanted scheme is to deter shopppers and office workers from hogging the spaces so that we can park near our homes.
But it's Easter Sunday! All offices are shut. Even that temple to capitalism, Tesco, is shut today! The only cars in Berkeley Road belong to the people who live here and to our friends and loved ones who have come to share a festival / holy day with us.
The scheme was introduced against the wishes of Berkeley Roaders who held a public meeting at the Library attended by Council Officers. We agreed unanimously to reject the project. But it was imposed on us anyway!
It's not hard to see why. From the Council's point of view it's a top idea. It is not about easing congestion or making life better for the residents. It is a straight forward revenue earner. It forces the office workers and shoppers into paying in the Town Centre Car Parks, thereby paying for itself. On top of this the penalty tickets are extra earners and the punitive late payement levies and collection charges are obscene.
So today we're paying extortionate overtime to a man to do something we didn't want in the first place, and that is totally inappropriate today, in particular, since there is no congestion to be eased!
It is a fallacy to call it a Residents Parking Scheme, since permits are being sold to people who are not even resident in the ward, as evidenced by the painting out of the word RESIDENT. So clearly even the Council sees that the scheme is not for the residents' benefit.
As the permit scheme is not applied to all roads in the ward, it can be therefore nothing other a local tax selectively and unfairly applied to some resident car users but not to all.
As Apolitical candidates we are pledging:
* to issue all qualifying residents with two free car permits, as the scheme is self-liquifying from car park revenues;
* to put a stop to the blatant revenue grabbing persecution of our guests on Sundays and Bank Holidays;
* and to end this shameful squandering of over-time money on an inappropriate task.
And if Berkeley Roaders decide again to scrap the scheme we promise to abide by their wishes.
Any way, back to my Easter turkey-lurkey, I need to get the veg on!