If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Common Sense from Council Official Shock

Anna's mother died earlier this year, and the house is up for sale. The old lady had lived in the house for the best part of 70 years, so you can imagine that the clearing-out process has been long (it is a big house, with lots of places to stow stuff for decades if necessary) and, for someone emotionally-attached to the situation, pretty upsetting. Today, we finally got round to the last few bin-bags of clutter possessions, and I loaded them in the car and headed for the charity shop in town.

The street where the shop is located was very crowded with parked cars, but I managed to fit the Mundaneo onto the end of a row, next to a corner. There were double yellow lines, and those markers on the kerb that say you can't unload there. Furthermore, there was a big, easy-to-read sign right next to my driver's door at eye level that said "NO LOADING OR UNLOADING AT ANY TIME". There was very little traffic about, and I decided to risk it for the three or four minutes it would take to drop the bin bags off. The car was literally ten feet from the shop doorway.

Of course, Anna got chatting to the lady running the shop, while I kept glancing nervously outside. Eventually, I thought I would get back in the car. But when I got outside, there were two people in high-viz vests (with Pembrokeshire County Council branding on) looking at it. "Is this your car, Sir?" "Yes, it is. Er ... I'll move it now."

I'm sure you can write the script from there onwards. Except you can't, and neither could I.

"We're not traffic wardens, Sir, we're from the Council. We've been having a lot of trouble with nuisance parking around here, Sir, and from next month we are going to be enforcing it much more strictly. Please take this as a polite reminder that you shouldn't really be parked here. You do know what these markings mean, don't you?"

I admitted I did, and furthermore that I knew I was in the wrong. The man nodded, smiled, and walked away and his sidekick followed.

Hassle and bad feeling - zero.

Future compliance from Richard - 100%.


  1. Careful that your complimentary posting doesn't drop them in the sh1t.

    Seriously though, it shows they're human like the rest of us.

  2. Thing is, it's also way more effective. I was last clobbered for a parking fine in Oxford (where they HATE cars), free parking on a tiny side-road ended at 7.00 am, I went to move the car at 7.05 am, £40 fine. It didn't make me park better, it made me angry. With this one, my attitude is that the restrictions are fair, and I will try to park somewhere else. Job done.

  3. If only they coul;d all be like that. Maybe this bunch don't work to targets?

  4. I suspect not: no clipboards. It's a novel way of enforcing regulations, though. Let people know what you're doing, speak to them respectfully and politely, don't punish them without due warning, allow them time to comply. It'll never work.


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