Thursday, 30 October 2008

The Street that The Council Forgot!

I've never been a very political person. Generally I just 'go with the flow' and fit in. Moving to the UK has changed my somewhat passive approach to life as I begin to more fully understand (or in this case NOT understand!) the workings of British Bureaucracy. This particular incidence of British Bureaucracy has SO incensed me that I just have to MAKE A STATEMENT!

Some time back the East Sussex Council came up with a marvellous scheme to inflict a paid parking scheme on the sleepy little town of Eastbourne. Despite the protestations of both the Eastbourne City Council and the Residents, this scheme was pushed through to become a reality about a week ago. Now I could go on about all the inconveniences the scheme has brought to both the shop owners and workers in the town centre and the sudden drop in business that many small high street shops have been subject to since the scheme came into effect but I feel that as this matter has been sufficiently addressed over the past few months with no sensible result, I would rather stick to my own 'inconvenience'.

So . . . pass the soapbox please!

Several months ago the Jayne family moved into their own little bit of Heaven - a 1/9th share of a converted church to be exact. This church is in a RESIDENTIAL part of Eastbourne Town Centre - on the Street that The Council Forgot. When we moved in here about four months ago, we made a special trip to the local council to purchase a resident's parking permit that would allow us to park on the road outside our new home, only to be told that we didn't need to worry since the new parking scheme didn't affect our street. I suppose we should have been more suspicious at the time but, being a bit ignorant of local laws, we accepted what we were told and have been parking outside our new home in ignorant bliss ever since.

Hah! The very first day of the new rules and we got a parking ticket! As did EVERY single car in the street! Shock was soon followed by indignation. A quick check of the Council's web site showed an interesting state of affairs - our street is just outside their new parking area. It still carries a '2 hour, no return 2 hours' parking restriction and The Council refuses to sell us resident's parking permits because (wait for it) we don't fall into the new area. So far, despite several emails and even a direct visit to their offices, they seem unable to tell me where I can obtain such an item. In fact, they really don't care one iota for my troubles!

So I, and all the other street residents, are now left with one of two options. Either we park illegally and run the risk of £30 parking tickets or we rush out every two hours and move our cars to another street, only to return to our own one two hours later! Does no-one else see the ridiculousness of this situation? If we lived just one street over we'd be eligible for a permit!

Right now I feel very discriminated against! Is it yet another case of "all being equal, just some more so than others" or simple stupidity?

Bah Humbug!


keiths ramblings said...

I feel for you. My daughter who lives just off Seaside has had exactly the same problem this week. As you may be aware this parking scheme should have started last year but the whole thing got messed up and delayed. Now it's messed up even more! The council did something similar with Airbourne this year. They imposed a charge then wondered why a) the sea front was empty and b) the trades people vowed never to return.Hey-ho!

Keith K. said...

Who did you speak to at the Council? If it was just some jobsworth underling, ask to speak to a Councillor, tell him or her the problem ... and remind him or her of the date of the next Local Government elections.

Jayne - talking nonsense! said...

Hello the two Keiths - how lovely to see both your foorprints! :)

Yeah, apparently Airbourne was a financial disaster too! I watched some of the planes from the other side of the street, joined by hundreds of other Eastbourians(?) who refused to pay for the privelege of standing on their beach. And now this stupid new parking thing - you'd think they'd have learnt something? Mmmmm?

LOL - so great to see you both. I've decided to re-visit my blogging in a more proactive way again. I shall be popping along to both your blogs a little later in the day :)