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Mrs. Monk's Would-be Diary, should have been written by Mrs. Monk, since she is the "Writer" in the family.
However, since she is a writer only in the conceptual sense, I have undertaken to fill these pages on her behalf.
If not by her, these pages will certainly be about her, and other important matters of the day

Leslie Monk, the long suffering.

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Mrs Monk’s

Would-Be Diary

Royal Parking Kerfuffle

8-Dec-05   from 4-June-2005 

Soon after an undercover TV documentary exposed the corruption of Parking Ticket enforcement in an inner London Borough, I received a parking ticket one Saturday afternoon in circumstances that resonated with what I had seen in the documentary.

We were parked in Stafford Street after 1:30 pm on a Saturday afternoon on a single yellow line. The only parking restriction notice that exists in the whole street, does not disallow parking at that time. Adjoining Stafford Street is Bond Street, where the rich and famous do their rich and famous shopping at Versaci and Alexander McQueen and the rest. Parking is restricted in that street but there were plenty of vehicles breaking the rules including this very Rolls Royce complete with curtains to shield the occupants from the public gaze.

We made our visit to the Royal Academy had our lunch and returned the to the car one hour later, and found the ticket on our car. The Rolls Royce was in the same illegal place, but no ticket was issued. The whole area was teeming with wardens, and they were clearly discriminating with no clear logic as to whom or why they issued tickets.

Now this is where the TV documentary resonated with me, because it was revealed in this programme, that certain establishments that catered to rich clients paid off traffic wardens in order to accommodate their rich clients. In fact they even provided a cosy haven where the wardens were provided with drinks and biscuits in order to keep them sweet and less inclined to upset their clients with parking tickets. The wardens actually gathered in this unofficial resting place in large groups.

Mrs Monk put herself about amongst the fancy cars with her digital camera, and that seem to stir some unexpected responses As she snapped the illegally parked Rolls Royce a man snapped back at Mrs Monk. Could this have been the Secret Service, and could the missing shopper have been a member of the Royal Family given the RYL in the number plate.

None of this explains why I am disputing our parking ticket of course, but the process or arguing the rights and wrongs is stiflingly frustrating because after exchanging four letters, you realise that the replies you receive simply ignore the content of your letters and are written by someone who has never been to Stafford Street and does not care too.


Royal Parking Kerfuffle UPDATE

18 Jan 2006

Current Royal Parking Ticket Appeal

I tried to make this dull subject interesting at the regular Tuesday Tennis Club post game discussion group, but failed. Consensus seemed to be,  just pay up, or, you can’t win, or, why bother, and so on. No one actually said these things but the body language spoke volumes. Yawn.

However I have received persistent interest from correspondence elsewhere so here is the latest.

Westminster Council has made a summary of both sides of the argument for the benefit of the independent adjudicator, and have given themselves the last word.

They point out that I have not provided any evidence that parking is not disallowed in the street where we were parked. Yes, they seem to think it might be possible for me to provide evidence of something that does not exist.

They have again asserted that parking is restricted in that street at that time, but have not provided evidence (photographs) of the whereabouts of the signs that prohibit parking, because they cannot photograph what does not exist. However they have said that such signs do exist and also that parking restrictions are posted on all parking meters and pay and display machines.

But, there are no parking restriction notices, nor are there any parking meters, nor are there any pay and display meters. And no I cannot prove that with a camera. 

Westminster Council has provided photographic evidence of my car, which does exist, but that was never in dispute. Yes, they do have a camera.  Yes, we do have a car.

We are about to see how this is assessed by the “independent adjudicator” who resides in Westminster.

Westminster Council has not commented on the illegal parking that is allowed in Westminster.

If you want a copy of all the correspondence, please write.

If you want to be notified of any significant changes to these page, asked to be put on the mailing list. Contact SHOESTRINGONLINE

Royal Parking Kerfuffle UPDATE 26 March 2006

Mrs Monk spotted a planning notice regarding proposed new parking signs in this area. Meanwhile, we have heard nothing of our appeal, which was supposed to have been considered in January. No news is No News?

If you want to be notified of any significant changes to these page, asked to be put on the mailing list. Contact SHOESTRINGONLINE