Author Topic: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action  (Read 17958 times)

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Offline Tobes

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Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« on: July 07, 2007, 01:22:54 PM »
OK - this morning, I've decided I've had enough.

SBCs 'money makers' are targetting Old Town streets in particular it would seem - with a whole array of tickets issued over the last weeks and months. Stories from my neighbours include a builder who got ticketed during the day (when there was virtually no one else around and plenty of space to park on the street. WEIRD how British Gas and Electricity workers don't get similarly targetted!) - and gangs of four or more wardens have been seen wandering the streets and car parks both before 8.00am and after 6.00pm - not doubt hoovering up their yummy overtime, but contributing bugger all to the residents for whom this 'service' is supposed to benefit. My partner was issued a ticket at 6.30am!

We've now been waiting over a year for this supposed 'consultation' with the residents to reach fruition. And what have we heard?  :censored: all. In the meantime the tickets keep on getting issued and the money keeps rolling into SBC's coffers. We suffer inconvenience and extreme annoyance - and our elected representatives sit on their hands.

Straight forward demands:

1. Wardens only issue tickets outside of 9 to 5 in residents parking areas if the vehicle in question is presenting an obstruction
2. URGENT AND IMMEDIATE reconsideration of the yellow line schemes - which in our area seem wasteful of resource and somewhat arbitary.
3. Signage explaining the 'new' rules on how residents can park in council car parks overnight for a minimal fee (this is apparently up and running - but I can't find any detail anywhere.
4. ENGAGEMENT FROM SBC NOW - I think its time to start drawing the media's attention to the fact that we were publically invited to participate and yet our words and thoughts seem to have fallen on utterly deaf ears. WHAT WERE THE RESULTS OF THE TRUMPETED CONSULTATION, WHAT ARE THE CONCLUSIONS, AND WHAT ACTION IS GOING TO BE TAKEN?

I really think we ought to pool our resources and numbers for once and gather in all of the separate people involved in the last wave of protest to consider taking some action.


I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline Munty Flumple

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Re: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2007, 05:49:09 PM »
I am in total and complete support of my beloved and, although I may be a bit biased, I agree with everything he has said and don't think it is unreasonable to expect some straight forward, common sense action from SBC. As a 2nd permit holder I am spending £50 a year on my permit, I have received 4 parking tickets this year and at £30 each I have already had to fork out £170 purely on parking and we're only half way through the year! I like to think of myself as quite an open minded and non-judgemental character, but recently the sight of an SBC traffic warden sends me off into a blood boiling rage as I can't understand what kind of mean-spirited, unpleasant and spiteful person would want to spend their days in such a pointless and unrewarding role! Although the abolition of the ridiculous '1 permit per household' scheme seemed to signify some sort of show that SBC were listening to the people that pay their wages, it seems to have stopped there and in actual fact it appears that they are targeting us more heavily through their traffic wardens. It’s not on and has to stop.

Offline Alex

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Re: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2007, 08:41:07 PM »
Absolutely right- they are here every day in Avenue Road at 6:45am waiting to pounce on the poor buggers who took a risk in going out the night before and couldn't find anywhere legal to park when they got home- easy targets.

I, on the other hand, feel like a prisoner in my own home because I can't take the risk of going out for that very reason. Having been burgled a few weeks ago  while asleep in the house, I am reluctant to park my car miles out of my sight, overnight in a public car park.

And as for trying to understand the current policy- on tryign to obtain a  second permit for my husband's car so that he can park on the street occasionally, it seem the privilege has already gone up to £100 according to the web site.

Consulted? Yes -but then completely ignored. I have now lost my patience too. I wish there was a suitable smiley- but none of them are adequate for my level of sheer, utter loathing of this "process" and complete lack of any confidence in anyone at SBC.

Offline Provocateur

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Re: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2007, 01:46:37 AM »
Karsten - are you checking these threads? Can you get in touch? And wasn't it Garry who organised the petition? Does anyone know how to get in touch with him?

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2007, 09:42:33 AM »
"..... I can't understand what kind of mean-spirited, unpleasant and spiteful person would want to spend their days in such a pointless and unrewarding role!"

".....it appears that they are targeting us more heavily through their traffic wardens. It’s not on and has to stop."

We'll have to get used to being permanently under observation, and targetted 24hrs a day when SBC's shiny new private police force hits the streets in a couple of weeks time.

'Environmental Enforcement' is the buzz-phrase on everyones lips in Euclid Street, especially since the campaign to convince Joe and Jolene public that their lives will be: 'much rosier when dog control orders are introduced'..... has been such a success. (allegedly).

Of course SBC neglected to mention that the new 'enforcement officers' won't actually raise much revenue from dog owners, or that the bulk of the 'on the spot' fines are expected to be raised from non-dog owners.....

Expect to see 'enforcement' officers in Eastcott & Central more regularly than you'll see either crusty white dog poo or a bin lorry.......

......in fact, I wonder whether the new enforcement officers will be the same officers who already dispense daily doses of parking ticket grief ?

 

Offline Dale Heenan

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Re: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2007, 07:01:07 PM »
OK - this morning, I've decided I've had enough.

SBCs 'money makers' are targetting Old Town streets in particular it would seem - with a whole array of tickets issued over the last weeks and months. Stories from my neighbours include a builder who got ticketed during the day (when there was virtually no one else around and plenty of space to park on the street. WEIRD how British Gas and Electricity workers don't get similarly targetted!) - and gangs of four or more wardens have been seen wandering the streets and car parks both before 8.00am and after 6.00pm - not doubt hoovering up their yummy overtime, but contributing bugger all to the residents for whom this 'service' is supposed to benefit. My partner was issued a ticket at 6.30am!

We've now been waiting over a year for this supposed 'consultation' with the residents to reach fruition. And what have we heard?  :censored: all. In the meantime the tickets keep on getting issued and the money keeps rolling into SBC's coffers. We suffer inconvenience and extreme annoyance - and our elected representatives sit on their hands.

Straight forward demands:

1. Wardens only issue tickets outside of 9 to 5 in residents parking areas if the vehicle in question is presenting an obstruction
2. URGENT AND IMMEDIATE reconsideration of the yellow line schemes - which in our area seem wasteful of resource and somewhat arbitary.
3. Signage explaining the 'new' rules on how residents can park in council car parks overnight for a minimal fee (this is apparently up and running - but I can't find any detail anywhere.
4. ENGAGEMENT FROM SBC NOW - I think its time to start drawing the media's attention to the fact that we were publically invited to participate and yet our words and thoughts seem to have fallen on utterly deaf ears. WHAT WERE THE RESULTS OF THE TRUMPETED CONSULTATION, WHAT ARE THE CONCLUSIONS, AND WHAT ACTION IS GOING TO BE TAKEN?

I really think we ought to pool our resources and numbers for once and gather in all of the separate people involved in the last wave of protest to consider taking some action.

Well I hope you will welcome the recommendations and report going to Cabinet on the 25th then. I think the papers are published at the start of next week.

Offline James

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Re: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2007, 07:19:43 PM »
Quote
Well I hope you will welcome the recommendations and report going to Cabinet on the 25th then...
Er, no Dale. I want to see what those recommendations are first.

Quote
... I think the papers are published at the start of next week.
That is good to hear.


James

Offline Tobes

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Re: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2007, 07:45:34 PM »
Quote
We'll have to get used to being permanently under observation, and targetted 24hrs a day when SBC's shiny new private police force hits the streets in a couple of weeks time.

What crass grade A stupidity is this??! Paid for through a mixture of my council tax and revenue raising fines, no doubt. Just like a police force, but one which gets to work its overtime and secure a career future by issuing as many tickets and fines in the name rather than the spirit of the law. Capitalist enforcement. Oh just wonderful! That sounds like a good idea, deson't it???  :censored: . Meanwhile the bins will fester, there's nowhere to park, yet more bars and high density developments overload a creaking civic infrastructure, but at least some wannabe mogul will have an expanded department and a wider remit to interfere.

This is pernicious, stupid, bureucratic nonsence of the first degree. Have our Tory councillors gone completely insane? How the hell do these sorts of unitarian enforcement measures tie in with the spirit of conservatism?

Geof - please spill the beans on a separate thread. This has got my blood running both hot and cold alternately. I've never heard of such a stupid, simplistic and misguided idea. For those of us who've already been on the receiving end of council empolyed jobsworths and ticket-monkeys, this could be the straw which breaks the camel's back.
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline CogDis

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Re: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2007, 10:33:04 PM »
Several people have mentioned money in this thread. Anybody know how much parking fines bring in over a year? I guess car-parking fees also a goodly sum.

Am I right in thinking these are 2 of the very few ways local councils have of raising revenue other than the Council Tax? (So Tobes and the rest are helping keep my tax down?   >:D  )

Thanks all

Coggie

(ducking and running)

Offline DaveWood

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Re: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2007, 07:02:22 PM »
We suffer inconvenience and extreme annoyance - and our elected representatives sit on their hands.

I can promise you that we, at least, have not.

I've probably mentioned before but we've been sworn to secrecy about what's happening until the Cabinet report is published, similarly I've been told I can't publish the survey results until this time.
But just because we've been gagged it doesn't mean we've been inactive.

Sometime between next Monday and Wednesday I will have the use of my lungs back.  Whilst I promised young Peter that I wouldn't be posting here much I will come back on the alloted day and spill my guts up entirely on the whole business.  And of course at that time you will also have access to the Cabinet papers on the SBC website with - hopefully, as I haven't seen them - exactly what's going to happen and when.

Offline Mart

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Re: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2007, 10:08:14 PM »
What a hapless bunch of hopeless t*ss*rs somebody appears to have voted in.

I am practically beside myself with excitement at the prospect of a pronouncement, after a year in the making it should at least be as good as any of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, though lacking the glorious scenery of New Zealand.

I am however pretty sure it will have equal relevance to reality, or indeed the basic requirements of the modern town dweller who is unfortunate emough to have a spouse (as in married, not same sex style of thing, quaint I know but there we are) who can also drive, and even worse, have a job, that isn't where you work, and perhaps these throwbacks may also breed, and then their children will also try and lead a life which public transport fails to facilitate.

But never fear, the hapless t*ss*rs are ambling to the rescue.

Enjoyed my holiday by the way, very relaxed, got loads of fags.

If the pronouncement is a pile of cack, I for one am up for another round of devilment and high jinks.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline concerned_of_Old_Town

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Re: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2007, 11:16:42 PM »
We suffer inconvenience and extreme annoyance - and our elected representatives sit on their hands.

I can promise you that we, at least, have not.

I've probably mentioned before but we've been sworn to secrecy about what's happening until the Cabinet report is published, similarly I've been told I can't publish the survey results until this time.
But just because we've been gagged it doesn't mean we've been inactive.



Thanks for the update Dave.  I am however just a simple lad from Old Town trying to understand Swindon/local politics!  What I don't understand is why you or any other opposition councillor needs to part of any secrecy pacts!  I understand at national politics Gordon Brown/Tony Blair keeps David Cameron and Ming Campbell informed on certain national security issues but not sure if national security applies to Swindon parking!!

Offline Tobes

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Re: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2007, 08:58:46 AM »
Thanks for rejoining us on this issue Dave - but this particular ship, if not having now sailed, has gone a long way down the slipway.

As Mart and Concerned have already said, over a year is a long time to wait - especially when the process has been shrouded in what appears to me at least, to be utterly unessessary secrecy. We're talking about parking FFS, not some state secret. From the beginning, your electrorate have been asking for engagement, involvement and updates on what was happening. Of all the parties involved, you've been the most engaged - but it might appear to an observer that our councillors have colluded in order to hush over an isue which isn't easily going to be respolved. No doubt you, Martin and Stan are in an unenviable position. You three command healthy majorities, and no doubt the Tory's aren't too bothered about wooing your electorates potential votes, as with respect, the three of you hardly command massive influence given the blue majority. However, given that case, perhaps you could be a little more aggressive on our behalf? Maybe you have been being firm - but this veil of secrecy makes it appear that deals might be being struck which may have more to do with expediency than the interest of the people who live around Eascott. that may be utterly unfair - but in the 12 month void of info, its a thought which has crossed more than just my sceptical mind.
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline DaveWood

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Re: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2007, 11:46:59 AM »
Thanks for the update Dave.  I am however just a simple lad from Old Town trying to understand Swindon/local politics!  What I don't understand is why you or any other opposition councillor needs to part of any secrecy pacts!  I understand at national politics Gordon Brown/Tony Blair keeps David Cameron and Ming Campbell informed on certain national security issues but not sure if national security applies to Swindon parking!!

Regardless of party affiliation councillors have to uphold various '"standards", including not disclosing information if it is given to us in confidence.  Confidentiality is over-used in my opinion, but I could be strung up for breaking it.

As Mart and Concerned have already said, over a year is a long time to wait - especially when the process has been shrouded in what appears to me at least, to be utterly unessessary secrecy. We're talking about parking FFS, not some state secret. From the beginning, your electrorate have been asking for engagement, involvement and updates on what was happening. Of all the parties involved, you've been the most engaged - but it might appear to an observer that our councillors have colluded in order to hush over an isue which isn't easily going to be respolved. No doubt you, Martin and Stan are in an unenviable position. You three command healthy majorities, and no doubt the Tory's aren't too bothered about wooing your electorates potential votes, as with respect, the three of you hardly command massive influence given the blue majority. However, given that case, perhaps you could be a little more aggressive on our behalf? Maybe you have been being firm - but this veil of secrecy makes it appear that deals might be being struck which may have more to do with expediency than the interest of the people who live around Eascott. that may be utterly unfair - but in the 12 month void of info, its a thought which has crossed more than just my sceptical mind.

Yes, we do make sure to update everyone on RP by leaflet every couple of months.  For those who provided their details specifically to the Council to be kept informed I, probably like them, feel cheated.  Those people haven't been updated and I (having only just been elected at the time) sweetly just passed the information over.

I would feel that I've been more than firm.  I don't think I'm breaking any confidences in saying that I've had to threaten to bail out of the review and start campaigning against it because I didn't like the way things were going.

There is a very simple reason for the huge delay, which I've only recently discovered but, again, I'll talk Tuesday.

Offline Tobes

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Re: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2007, 01:01:38 PM »
Good man Dave. I look forward to hearing about the mystery wrapped within the enigma!

...in the meantime, I'm setting up a sister thread to this to allow us to collectively monitor and record the stupidity of the current enforcement policy: http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=2043.msg11173#msg11173
« Last Edit: July 10, 2007, 03:16:50 PM by Tobes »
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline CogDis

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Re: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2007, 11:56:52 PM »
While we're waiting for the denouement (and I assume Mr Wood means next Tuesday before he can bill the spleens - since it's now 5 to Wednesday) any answer to the question on how much income is generated from fines and fees? Anyone point me at the info anywhere?

Offline DaveWood

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Re: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2007, 12:52:23 AM »
Next Tuesday indeed.

I was given the figures for last financial year earlier this year.  It was around £114k from RPZ PCNs.

I understand that this money has to be spent within the RP scheme and cannot be used to subsidise other things.  A legal requirement I gather.

Offline Tobes

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Re: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2007, 08:54:16 AM »
Quote
this money has to be spent within the RP scheme

Does anyone spot the irony though? Attendents are taken on to enforce the letter of the law (back in 2003 when parking enforcement passed from the Rozzers over to SBC) - a department is expanded, the new workers and inflated management seek to justify their positions by proving the validity of their existance through issuing of parking tickets. The tickets bring in income through fines. The fines allow their deprtment to function, give them job security and drive them to issue more tickets... to do this they patrol the streets at times during which they can issue most tickets. This cooincides with non 9.00am to 5.00pm hours, meaning overtime. Overtime means a more expensive overhead for the department, which means the attendants and their management can only justfy it through the issue of more tickets and more fines to fund the activity - and round we go!

The people who suffer are the residents of a scheme which was supposedly designed to provide them with a service... :uglystupid2:
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline Mart

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Re: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2007, 08:00:16 PM »
I know it's bollocks, you know it's bollocks, sbc knows it's bollocks.

There will be a point where there are more enforcers and adminstrators than residents who wish to park.

At that point the scheme will be declared a success.

Seriously, can anyone provide some easy stats on number of sbc employees / Swindon residents and some service provision levels, budget and spend set alongside would be nice, I guess you know what I'm driving at, wonder if it's true.

I don't begrudge anyone a job, mind's been jeopardised enough lately that it drives home just what that income really means, but.....

Don't invent the things, if a new post is required keep your focus on what need the job is supposed to meet, and be bloody honest about it.

The attendants are universally perceived by residents as tax collectors and sbc must examine why that might be, as a starter for ten, they may wish to consider the residents viewpoint that the people were rushed into existence, resourced and supported with startling efficiency, contrast this with the inertia and indolence accorded to the review of the residents parking scheme.

If the council are a bit skint, and these people are required to grab revenue then have the balls to say so.

And sort the sodding scheme out, it is now beyond embarassing. I know we are a bit yesterday with all the exciting gubbins currently floating about, TV stars, the green issue, canals et al, but do try and do a good job, then we'll go away.

I reckon sbc get muddled up when it comes to what they should do, what they could do, what they want to do, what people need them to do and what it is politically expedient to do.

As I said before if we need to crank it up again, I'm game.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Tobes

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Re: Enough is enough - residents, time to take action
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2007, 10:16:37 PM »
Mart - drop me a private message. I'll be off for a couple of weeks on holiday, but I have some ideas...
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'