Those of you who were aghast that I should have the temerity to express an opinion about the US elections yesterday will be pleased to hear that today, today anyway, I will confine myself to matters closer to home.
In fact so close to home that I find I live in the very borough to which I intend to award my prestigious "Prats of The Week" award.
Can you guess which borough that is?
Yes, that's right, Croydon!
It would appear that my beloved council is so desperate to raise revenues, that they have instructed their civil enforcement officers (Gestapo agents in old speak) to ticket anyhting with a pulse.
Such was the fate that befell three men working on an emergency gas leak on Beulah Hill, who were gobsmacked to be issued with a £100 parking fine.
They were working on the urgent gas leak at the junction of Beulah Hill and Biggin Hill at 9.30am. Their prominently marked van was parked just behind them on Biggin Hill on double yellow lines.
A parking warden walking up Biggin Hill issued them with a fine at 12.00pm.
Gavin Anderson, from SGN, said:
"We saw the warden just as he was putting the ticket on the windscreen. I told him we were working an emergency. He said he understood but that he had already issued the ticket.
He should have come to find us, it was pretty obvious we were working just behind the van and we are working on an emergency here.
I parked the van in this spot to make sure I was well out of the way of any traffic, this is a really busy road."
A council spokesman chose to avoid discussing the matter:
"Without the relevant details – the penalty charge notice number or the registration number of the vehicle, we're unable to comment on this specific case.
As a general rule, however, the council's civil enforcement officers are instructed to exercise discretion, particularly in instances where utility companies are carrying out emergency repair works."
Looks like the instructions to the civil enforcement officers are not that clear!
Could it be that parking fines are being used to supplement council tax revenue, to shore up a bankrupt council?
Croydon Council, well deserving Prats of The Week!
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