Tuesday 15 April 2014

Cash strapped council

Stoke-on-Trent: Spy Hard
A Stoke-on-Trent Council ‘spy’ car has raked in £457,000 in parking fines in just four years.  One of its victims, David Martin of Mow Cop, was hit with a £35 fine last year after parking outside Wright’s Pies, in Tunstall, for less than a minute. He is less than impressed. “Since I had my fine I completely avoid parking in Tunstall town centre. Now I park out of town and walk in because I don’t want to take the risk.” The spy-car rakes in an average £114,000 a year.  At a rate of £35 a pop, that is over 3200 customers deterred from the town each year.

For a city reeling from massive corruption, you would think they would be keen to attract more business rather than engaging predatory behaviour, but the greed of the council must be served first. Presumably as a reward for this master-stroke of leadership, Chief Executive John van de Laarschot recently trousered a £5,400 increase in his basic salary, up from £189,600 to £195,000.  I'm sure Mr Martin of Mow Cop will find that very reassuring.

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