Recorder letters: Private car parks, KMT thanks, Brexit and Bodgers art

PUBLISHED: 15:38 11 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:38 11 September 2019

Stephen Sklayne was fined £100 after the ramp on his mobility vehicle broke leaving him stranded in Newbury Park car park for more than two hours.

Stephen Sklayne was fined £100 after the ramp on his mobility vehicle broke leaving him stranded in Newbury Park car park for more than two hours.


Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Private car parks need regulating

Terry Sykes, Trinity Road, Barkingside, writes:

There were two adjacent articles in last week's Recorder about the heavy handed practice of private car parking companies, both in Newbury Park.

The incident of the disabled man being fined £100 when he could prove that he could not drive away because his mobility vehicle had broken down and was waiting to be rescued by the RAC beggars belief. How heartless of the parking company to proceed with the fine in those circumstances. And the appeals panel is no better for rejecting the appeal.

There are car parks all over the country that are run by private car parking companies, all of which seem to work to their own set of rules. There seems to be no legislation in place to regulate these companies. What gives them the legal power to impose parking fines in the first place? The position seems to be that if a company puts up signs in a private car park informing drivers that a fine can be imposed, for example for parking beyond the time limit, the driver is deemed to have entered into a contract, whether they have read the sign or not. Often people parking their vehicles do not walk around the car park looking for such signs; in any event, knowledge of the parking company's rules does not help anybody who cannot drive out of a car park because of circumstances beyond their control, as was the case of the man who parked outside of Pets at Home.

A driver's individual position should always be taken into account: if the parking company does not do it, then certainly the appeals procedure should redress the situation. Car parking companies are, in effect, in a position where they are imposing their own sanctions on errant drivers without being endowed with any particular legal powers by legislation. In other words, they are no more empowered to dictate rules on parking and impose fines than any individual would be.

There is obviously a great deal of money to be made out of private car parks, both by the companies that control them and by the DVLA, the government body that is entrusted to safeguard registered vehicle keepers' information.

I think that it is high time that the government overhauled this situation and brought in some rules of its own to regulate organisations: car parking companies should not be allowed to continue with what are, in many cases, appalling tactics.

Missed chance to thank volunteers

Ken Gaunt, Greenslade Road, Barking, writes:

I wish to say well done to Laura Everett and Alan Hardy for their article in last week's Recorder concerning the closure of the KMT and nothing said by the previous management.

As Laura and Alan rightly said the last show was brilliant with a packed house and standing ovation. But after the show it just seemed to fade out, the management didn't make any kind of announcement to the audience or volunteers for their valued support throughout the years.

It was a perfect opportunity for the previous management to thank the theatre supporters who came show after show, year after year and also the volunteers - but nothing.

The show just ended and that was it.

Nothing was said about the theatre remaining open with new owners Vision, as far as most of the theatre supporters know the KMT has closed and is not re-opening again.

This was again an opportunity missed by the previous management not to mention the new owners Vision, the panto in December and new shows which, will hopefully, continue and many of the previous theatre's companies will still come back and use the KMT.

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Remain MPs are undemocratic

Will Podmore, Clavering Road, Wanstead, writes:

John Molloy (Recorder letters) writes that prorogation "means MPs won't have time to pass laws to stop a no-deal Brexit".

Well, MPs have proved Mr Molloy wrong. They did have time to pass a motion overturning their previous decisions to respect our referendum decision and to trigger Article 50.

Why on earth does Mr Molloy think it undemocratic for the government to try to carry out our majority democratic decision to leave? Mr Molloy asks, "are we turning into a country like Putin's Russia and Xi Jinping's China. Not allowed to speak our minds freely and to demonstrate[?]"

Well, the answer is obviously no. Mr Molloy has just proven with his letter that we can speak our minds freely. The demonstrators, pro-Brexit and anti-Brexit, are still visibly demonstrating outside Westminster.

Mr Molloy calls it a coup when the government tries to get parliament to do what it promised to do, carry out our referendum decision. No, that is not the coup.

The coup is when the pro-EU faction of MPs acts to overturn our majority democratic decision, by breaking parliament's own rules, with the connivance of a biased and dishonest Speaker.

The 17.4 million majority voted, in a free, fair, legitimate democratic referendum, to leave the EU. We know that all Conservative and Labour MPs were elected on manifesto pledges to respect our referendum decision. Now almost all Labour MPs and all too many Conservative MPs are breaking their pledges.

We know that these MPs are trashing their earlier decisions - they voted to hold the referendum, they voted to enact the Withdrawal Act, and most importantly they voted to trigger Article 50, unconditionally, deal or no deal.

But now they are in contempt against the laws they themselves passed. No wonder we have contempt for them.

The Johnson government appears to be carrying out - at last - our referendum decision by committing to leaving the EU on October 31, deal or no deal. The pro-EU faction of MPs trying to overturn our democratic decision, not the government, is the threat to democracy.

Not a fan of art on Bodgers facia

Mr A Still, York Road, Ilford, writes:

These paintings on Bodgers facia - what a disappointment, they are not good. Where are the future Canalettos, Picassos, Klimts, Rockwells, Turners, Constables, Hockneys, Lowrys, Pollocks, Goyas etc, etc.

The pieces on Bodgers are just cartoonism. I could do better myself and I am 85.

I could have gone to University to study art but when I left school, I was the main bread winner so it had to be work.

Get Dulux to supply paint, brushes, platform, sheeting and two assistants (because I am old and feeble), a bottle of Rosé and I'd just about make it.

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