Comment on parking letter

SIR - The visitor to Appledore, Mr Bennett, who had a parking fine cancelled is fortunate indeed! (Gazette, June 3). In July, 2006 you reported a fine imposed on a visitor to Ilfracombe who bought a two-hour parking ticket but who was fined before 90 mi

SIR - The visitor to Appledore, Mr Bennett, who had a parking fine cancelled is fortunate indeed! (Gazette, June 3).

In July, 2006 you reported a fine imposed on a visitor to Ilfracombe who bought a two-hour parking ticket but who was fined before 90 minutes had elapsed because it had run into night-time parking time for which no ticket could have been purchased anyway until that time had been reached.

In March, 2006 I was fined for a similar "offence" to Mr Bennett at Appledore (a ticket was purchased but blew into a position where it could not be read, albeit I produced it as proof of purchase) and the Gazette published my letter exposing the heavy handed approach of TDC to so-called parking "offences."

Having taken my case to my ward councillor, to the chairman of TDC and to the Mayor of Bideford, I eventually received a patronising letter from John van der Laarschot, the self-same TDC chief executive, who has just commented about the Appledore visitor's complaint: "I have fed Mr Bennett's comments back to our parking team to assist them in continually improving their level of customer service."


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In my own case Mr van der Laarschot dismissed the pleas of the above elected representatives and remonstrated with me for my complaint about "his" council "servants'"(the parking team) - the same ones he has now said should improve their "customer service."

We need not fear interference from government, however supine, when we have such zealous officials, who are actually our servants, looking after our interests on TDC with such excellent service.

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The Reverend Gerald Smith,

Woolsery.

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