Disrespect, and then Contempt

I’ve struggled with what my role should be in several local dramas lately, and finally come to grips with the real issue(s). The first is the issue of the now infamous parking problem in Camberley on the A30 slip road.  parking ticket issued for disable driver on the A30 slip roadSo, several months ago, the Local Area Committee headed by Chairman & County Councillor David Ivison and Vice Chair Chris Pitt, allows a change in the parking regime in Camberley that had been in-situ for a couple of decades. Parking in town centres is one of those things that is a rote task for most humans, and if you change it, you’d better make provision for the change of the very human rote nature of the task conditioned by more than a generation of drivers. Chairman Ivision and his colleagues authorised 12 dedicated parking spaces and 23 others for the use of some newly imagined set of residents for some of the flats in the Camberley Town Centre, and made no provision for effective implementation of said decision. Now it would be one thing if there were a requirement for dozens of spaces, but so far there have been 4 parking permits issued for this sacred space.

For those of you who don’t really understand local area government, which is mostly everyone including most of the people in local area government, County Councils deal with roads and highways, and Borough Councils (us) deal with enforcement of the parking laws on those roads, as they are. So, the newly minted law(s) of Ivison, Pitt and Co. were turned over to Surrey Heath Borough Council who attacked it with a merciless lash, a thrash, and a smash to the public. So far they have issued over 1,000 tickets to protect those precious 4 permit holders and now successfully conviced over a 1,000 people never to come to Camberley again.

What has happened is incredibly wrong on a whole bunch of levels. Everyone is blaming everyone else, but the flaws in the situation are undebatable.  At the core of it, everyone who is a part of this mess is demonstrating complete disrespect for the people who’ve been quite innocently “busted” for something they didn’t even know they were doing wrong, including several Councillors.

Disrespect for people is shockingly wrong in too many ways to count. But when you defend the disrespect created by the mess, and you pour contempt on top of the disrespect, there is no excusing it… So, when the CEO of Surrey Heath Borough Council announces to the world on twitter that the “new” parking regime is part of the Borough’s Local Area Plan, she is heaping contempt on the shocking level of disrespect that her employees are piling on our mostly innocent residents. The amazing thing is to watch people who are paid by the very voters they actually work for, try to justify the total lack of respect being shown to those very voters and then to compound that insensitivity by pouring contempt on those very same people.

All of us who have tried to find a solution have been blocked by the bureaucracy that insists on its right to disprespect and its right to pour contempt on our voters. If we decide to accept disrespect and contempt by our leaders, then we get what we get…  If you are sick of the disrespect and contempt being shown by the CEO of Surrey Heath Borough Council and the Local Area Committee, then email them and let them know.  If we don’t object to disrespect and contempt, then we become party to it, a very sobering thought…

4 Replies to “Disrespect, and then Contempt”

  1. Can you expand on ‘being blocked by bureaucracy’? What has been tried and failed? There’s so little in the way of real information about the councils’ (both of them) stances that it’s frustrating. WHY aren’t we being kept in the picture?


    1. For the past two months I (along with over 500 complainants) have been consistently lobbying SHBC regarding their grossly inept implementation of a change of parking designation

      In simple terms for over two decades there has been a short stretch of slip road alongside the A30 where you could park for 30 minutes or longer term with a permit. Late October 2013 the 30 minute facility was removed and parking tickets have since been issued in droves to folk blissfully unaware of the change of use

      Apparently a couple of ads ran in the local paper last year but no prominent (and permanent) change of use signage was affixed to the posts nor clear road markings added

      As a result hundreds of innocent motorists (many like me have never had a ticket in 30 years) have been snared and despite constant protests no prominent warning signs have been installed (though Surrey CC did put some temporary ones up very briefly) and now we have approx. £40,000 of fine issued and no effective appeals nor effective remedy in sight

      I have written twice to the Chief Executive and received no reply whatsoever and I’m even told by one complainant that a receptionist admitted she hadn’t bothered to forward their earlier complaint when they pursued her for their lack of feedback from the Chief Executive

      These web sites should give you a flavour of the obdurate attitude we are encountering and we certainly wish to take this to the next level


      Check out the “Disrespect then Contempt” post and the many, many past blogs

      There is also an E petition which underlines the strength of public anger here


      I have requested answers to a number of questions relating to their parking mismanagement under the FOI act and can happily supply these when made available

      Our issue is NOT the change of designation (despite the almost total absence of any resident permit cars) but the underhand manner in which this change of use has been implemented without additional clear permanent signage

      The fact the council is happy to continue handing out parking fines (and stacking up the revenues) rather than address the simple issue of putting up these signs says it all and needs urgent redress so please can you advise what further action can be taken and in particular referral to the LGO


  2. Well said My Yankee friend and I’ve been trying to get a reply and some common sense for two months now but have got nothing but either obdurate responses from parking lackeys or complete silence from the chief executive Karen Whelan despite resorting to having to write an open letter imploring her to take ownership of a festering issue and resolve it as its such a simple and fair thing to do. Over 500 signatories on online petition might have galvanised her into action but sadly not it seems. As ever these folk peer up the wrong end of a very long municipal drainpipe seem to think that being council employees they can stick two fingers up to the residents they are paid to serve.


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