It is "heartwarming" to see councils displaying themselves in their true light, when it comes to thinking up ways of screwing local taxpayers out of even more of their hard earned money.
Southend Council showed its true self recently by putting itself above the law in its relentless pursuit of Mark Howard, a Southend bicycle shop owner.
Mr Howard's crime?
He isn't creating any commercial waste!
Well you see loyal readers Southend Council makes a nice little earner out of charging shop owners etc for commercial waste. Mr Howard, by not producing any, clearly doesn't have to pay a commercial waste fee.
In the real, law abiding world, yes.
However, in Nanny's world.
Southend Council flatly refuse to accept the fact that they cannot make some money out of Mr Howard, so they have chosen to disbelieve the fact that he doesn't produce any waste and are fining him £180.
How is it Mr Howard manages not to produce waste?
He stores surplus materials such as cardboard boxes and old pedals away for re-use, bent steel and aluminium frames that can't be salvaged are sold for scrap.
Several weeks ago he received a letter from Southend Council asking how he disposed of waste. He rang to explain, but the council refuses to believe him.
They sent an "officer" round, he didn't look round or ask any questions, merely gave Mr Howard a letter which told him to pay a fixed penalty.
Mr Howard has paperwork to prove that he does what he says he does with the waste, yet they seem not ot be listening.
Simon Crowther, group manager for waste, said:
"Mr Howard is required under the Environmental (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991 to produce evidence as to how he legally and lawfully disposes of commercial waste under his control.
Mr Howard has been issued with a fixed-penalty fine due to the fact he failed to provide this evidence."
It seems to me that the Council has not been listening, as they are more interested in making money.
I would note that, under the law ie "innocent until proven guilty", the onus is on them to prove that Mr Howard is producing waste. Southend choose not to prove this and instead have placed themselves above the law.
Nanny is displaying her true nature here, she is a dictator who uses the law to enrich herself.
By the way, it's a Tory council!
Drop them a line here Southend Council
Here's David Cameron's email to tell him what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org
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