Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sorry to bang on about Parking Wardens/Parking Attendants but....

Actually I think that they go by the name of Civil Enforcement Officers these days which sounds like something futuristic in a Clint Eastwood directed film about town councils having taken over the whole district and being able to do whatever they like so long as they pay their hench men enough danger money. All of which is laughable as I doubt that they're empowered do much more these days, and certainly not to make arrests, so it might be that the only difference between what they used to do, ie. issue parking tickets, and what they do now is that they can impose an on the spot fine or, more likely, call for back up when a dog owner fails to pick up their dog's crap from the grass near the swings at The Slade. So what's brought this sudden onslaught on then? I hear some of you thinking. Why's he banging on about Parking Wardens again then? Well I'll tell you why. It's because only last Friday I was attending the Angel Centre Flea Market, as I quite often do, combining it with a trip to the Post Office. As I'm sure you all know you can buy a half hour parking ticket for just 50p which is just about enough time to do both PO and Flea and open up Mr. Books by 10am. I went to the PO and then to the Flea where I had a quick look around and then got talking to one of the stall holders about this and that. Aware that my half an hour was running out I had to cut the conversation short and got back to my car with about 4 minutes to spare. Of course by this time there was not one but two of said Civil Enforcement Officers hovering, that's the only word for it, hovering menacingly over my car like hyenas around a recently killed carcass. I actually felt slightly threatened and more than a bit sickened by this and, at the time, was just glad that they'd missed their prey. The disappointment was etched all over their faces as they edged away on seeing that the owner had had the cheek to return on time. We could simply laugh these things off or say that they're only doing their job. Well I, for one, no longer find this funny, they've over stepped the mark. I cannot believe that this approach is doing Tonbridge shoppers, residents and indeed traders any good whatsoever. Time to get rid of these Goons and bring in traffic wardens/attendents, actually I don't care what they're called, just so long as they want to keep the main roads from being blocked but aren't interested in the easy pickings in the public car parks which, no doubt, keep their quotas up but, at the same time, help drive shoppers away from Tonbridge....

9 comments:

Paul Bailey said...

Your last comment TB, about parking attendants driving shoppers away from the town hits the nail on the head. Having to try and estimate, in advance, how long one's shopping is going to take not only detracts from the task in hand, but also limits impulse shopping, chance socialising and any deviation from what one might have planned. All because of constantly having to keep an eye on the time to prevent some council numpty from sticking a penalty ticket on your car, because you were delayed in the bank/post office/you saw an irresistible bargain and ended up being a couple of minutes over your allotted time!

I'm glad you managed to spoil the perverted pleasure TB, that these council jobsworths were undoubtedly looking forward to the other day!

All joking aside, whenever possible, I restrict the times when I bring my vehicle into the town to those hours when parking charges do not apply ie. after 6pm and on Sundays. (How much longer I wonder? T. Wells charge motorists to park on Sundays, and have done for several years, whilst Blighs in Sevenoaks charge during the evening period as well, so don't be surprised if our money grabbing council follow suit!) Like most good citizens of this borough I pay more than enough in Council Tax, without having to pay to park my car when I go shopping. Is it any wonder that more and more people are doing their shopping at out of town precincts and retail parks, and the High Street is dying on its feet.

Quite frankly I've had enough of this country and being told what I can and can't eat, how much I should drink, where I can or can't smoke (assuming I wanted to), what I can and can't say and who I can't say it to. Whatever happened to free speech in this country? Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany are the two places that spring to mind now when thinking about this once great country of ours. It'll be the Thought Police next, the way things are going!

Civil Enforcement Officers are the thin edge of the wedge. Next it will be the Smoke Police, the Drink Police, the Salt Police, the Fat Police, the Speaking Out of Turn Police, the Gagging Police. You name it this government and their cronies are dreaming up more and more ways of controlling our lives and turning us all into good little compliant drones.

Tim James said...

I agree, but there already is a Speaking Out Of Turn Police, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhfO5ouJSfk&playnext=1&list=PLCE0F8DF23E1869B3&feature=results_video

Tim James said...

I agree, but there already is a Speaking Out Of Turn Police, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhfO5ouJSfk&playnext=1&list=PLCE0F8DF23E1869B3&feature=results_video

Tim James said...

OOPS sorry, must have clicked the whatsit twice!

Paul Bailey said...

The Fat Police would have their work cut out, walking down Tonbridge High Street on a Saturday!

Paul Bailey said...

Thanks for the You Tube link, Tim. I watched a couple of other videos made by the same people. The one filmed at Canary Wharf is particularly good, but a disturbing reminder of how we have sacrificed many of our freedoms without even realising it. It reminds me of how a friend of mine got into trouble a few years ago, just for taking photographs in the, then, newly opened St Pancras International Station.

Tim James said...

Paul, yes Charlie Veitch can certainly put things into perspective. Pity he doesn't live in Tonbridge. I would like to see how the local Plastic Policemen react to him kicking off with his megaphone in Angel Walk on a Saturday afternoon. He has a point about uniforms. I've noticed the Car Park Goons are looking more and more militant and threatening these days in their nice new uniforms. Your photographer friend probably got into trouble under the terrorism act. According to the law, you can take photos or film anywhere in public, but once you step into a station or airport, or even into a shopping mall, you're no longer on public ground.

Paul Bailey said...

You're correct Tim, it was under Anti-Terrorism laws that my friend got into trouble for taking a few snaps at St Pancras. Crazy really, but I've managed to take some myself, both there and at Gatwick, using the camera on my smart-phone.

I would also like to see Charlie Veitch in action, with his megaphone, in Tonbridge. Presumably both Angel Walk and The Pavillion thoroughfares are classed as private ground?, as is the walkway in front of Sainsbury/Beales? (It doesn't seem to deter the skate-boarders though!).

Tim James said...

No, when it comes to Sainsbury and Beales, it's only illegal to film when you actually enter the supermarket. The walkways outside are fine, and you would have to actually enter through those sliding doors to be filming illegally.
I daresay the skateboarders know to. Actually I don't mind them. I've been pretty impressed by some death defying stunts I've witnessed on those steps at the sports hall end of the walkway. It just seems a bit embarrassing in comparison, as I try to steer my shopping trolley across the carpark.