Dear Mr Battersby,
Thank for your comprehensive and prompt reply to my query.
I must confess to my sadness and disappointment, but not to surprise, at an RMBC Council Leader being so thoroughly lazy and inconsiderate as to insist on parking a corporate vehicle used almost exclusively by them on the paved pedestrian area outside the Town Hall, rather than occupying a defined and designated parking space on the public highway and walking to their place of business like ordinary Rotherham citizens have to do every day of the week.
In my opinion this sets a very poor public image of responsible car parking and use of a civic motor vehicle and really does indicate to me an attitude of complete and utter contempt and indifference on the part of RMBC Elected Members and Officers towards the long-suffering motorists and citizens of Rotherham who have to endure the expensive and limited parking options available in Rotherham town centre.
However over the years I have become somewhat used to the “do as I say and not as I do” behaviours exhibited by RMBC Elected Members and Officers, and the Rotherham Labour Group in particular.
Donald H. Buxton
On Fri, 9/3/12, Battersby, Karl <Karl.Battersby@rotherham.gov.uk> wrote:
From: Battersby, Karl <Karl.Battersby@rotherham.gov.uk>
Subject: FW: PRIVATE CAR PARKED ON FOOTPATH OUTSIDE TOWN HALL 2012.03.07
To: Don Buxton
Cc: “Kemp, Liz” <Liz.Kemp@rotherham.gov.uk>
Date: Friday, 9 March, 2012, 14:24
Mr Buxton, thank you for your email. The Chief executive has asked me to respond on his behalf.
1. By what particular specific legal act, instrument or statute is that particular personal vehicle, or any other, permitted to park in that location?
The vehicle in question is not a personal vehicle. It is a fleet vehicle leased by Rotherham MBC and is therefore a statutory vehicle. The Traffic Management Act 2004 allows for statutory vehicles to be exempt from parking restrictions when being used for official duties.This is one of the official cars used by the Mayor and Leader.
2. Who within RMBC, and in what official capacity, has authorised and permitted this, or any other personal vehicle, to park on the paved pedestrian area outside Rotherham Town Hall?
The Parking Services Manager or a delegated person within the Parking Services Team has the authority to grant permission to vehicles to be parked in this location. A recent example was when three demonstration electric vehicles were granted permission to be parked in front of the Town Hall.
3. Is this particular vehicle issued to, or allocated to, or used almost exclusively by any particular RMBC Elected Member or Officer? And if so, who and in what capacity?
This vehicle is, in the main, used by the Leader of the Council.
4. Do the owners of private vehicles such as this which park on the paved area outside Rotherham Town Hall have to declare “a financial benefit in kind” to the Inland Revenue as a consequence of avoiding the high cost of payment of borough car parking charges?
This is not a privately owned vehicle.
5. Please supply me with copies of any reports, documents, memos, letters or notes in which the issue of RMBC Elected Members and Officers being granted permission to park their private cars on the paved pedestrian area has been discussed.
There are no such document(s). No such permission exists.
6. Please supply me with a copy/copies of any written instructions issued to RMBC staff to ignore or overlook the parking of RMBC Elected Members and Officers private vehicles on the paved pedestrian area outside Rotherham Town Hall.
There are no such written instructions because no “private vehicles” are allowed to be parked in this location except in extenuating circumstances, the merits of which would be taken into consideration on a case by case basis.
7. Have any verbal instructions been issued to RMBC staff to ignore or overlook the parking of RMBC Elected Members and Officers private vehicles on the paved pedestrian area outside Rotherham Town Hall.
8. Will you as Chief Executive be issuing any instructions to Elected Members, Officers and Staff of RMBC about the importance of them projecting a positive public image of responsible parking of their private vehicles and adhering to civic parking regulations within Rotherham town centre, and of not parking on the paved pedestrian area outlined above?
9. Has RMBC conducted any Formal Risk Assessments in relation to the parking of private motor cars on the paved pedestrian area outside Rotherham Town Hall and the hazards they make for blind or partially sighted pedestrians? If so, please supply such copies.
No. However, requests for vehicles to be allowed to be parked in any restricted area are treated on their individual merits. Safety of the public is always paramount in the decision making process. The area outside the town hall has been deemed to be wide enough for safe usage for statutory vehicles. However, it may be that the Council’s Health and Safety Team be asked to look at this particular location in order to undertake a risk assessment.
Environment and Development Services
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
My emphasis. Rothpol
Check for yourself: Department for Transport, or Traffic Management Act 2004.
First part of this tale of the Leaders attitudes: PRIVATE CAR PARKED ON FOOTPATH OUTSIDE TOWN HALL 2012.03.07