The council’s all-seeing CCTV spy car has once again caused controversy in what is a running saga, which only serves to highlight the total hypocrisy of the Medway Conservative controlled Council who are taxing motorists for quite minor traffic offences, whilst charging over £1300 on the average Council Tax to fund the CCTV car scheme.
The Tory Spy car was spotted breaking the law on the A2 in Rainham, by diligent motorist Clare Dickenson who is fed up, like the rest of Medway, with this white vulture bleeding motorists dry. A resident who stands up against the Tory money making machine in Gun Wharf - good on her!
She told YourMedway that
"The [Tory] Council is very quick to photograph us, as drivers and quickly fine us for this behaviour, so what about their employees who decide to do it in plain sight?"
Despite the fact the car was not operating outside a school at the time. A Medway Council spokesperson (not incidently Cllr Filmer this time) stated that
"Our CCTV cars make it safer for children by operating outside schools and help cut down on congestion by people illegally parking on roads throughout Medway."
This blogger has read this Medway Council spokesperson right; cutting congestion of people illegally parking by yes, illegally parking yourself and causing congestion. A sort of paradox of logic.
The car has now collected and raped motorists of an an eye-watering £1 million in parking penalties this year, and Tory Council chiefs are budgeting for big increases in revenue from the car in future budgets. Last year a single car earned £303,185 from penalty charges, against a running cost of £118,430.
Tory chief Cllr Filmer happily admitted that the CCTV car parked in prohibited places about 70 per cent of the time and was above the law. He also indicated that the car "never causes an obstruction to other vehicles. It is done to ease the congestion of our towns and to provide a safer working environment. It has had a positive impact"
Make no mistake at all, the car has left a terrible legacy. Throughout its tarnished history it has merely served to highlight the total contempt of Tory Councillors towards the general public.
Last year a direct comparison was made between the illegal parking of Conservative Councillors at Gun Wharf in Disabled Parking bays (twice) vis-a-vis the fine the CCTV would have given for parking in the incorrect bays.
The CCTV car has also been spotted parking illegally outside the Conservative Party HQ in Gillingham & Rainham. The Tory group led the purchase of the despised CCTV car and has wholeheartedly supported the punitive taxation of motorists across the town by purchasing further vehicles.
Every month the press is inundated by members of the public who are sick and tired of the CCTV Car. They are tired of the car arrogantly breaking the rules and they are fed up with the insulting manner and its contempt for basic highway rules and the traffic code. There is a general groundswell of support to scrap the vehicle entirely and use the money to fund stand-alone CCTV traffic cameras outside schools, where dangerous driving could harm lives and cameras could actually save lives.
The Tories have a lamentable record on transport in Medway.
The multi-million pound two-way traffic madness in Chatham, the purchase of an unsafe Medway Tunnel which could see a Tory Toll, constant uncoordinated roadworks, disgrace around gritting during the winter months. Pothole madness in Strood and a bus station farce in Chatham which has seen the destruction of town heritage. Meanwhile we have a total lack of oversight around Arriva busses with some areas of Medway left uncovered by a basic service on Sunday's. That is not to comment on the the gerrymandering of funding for the Yellow Bus scheme and the opposition to the Freedom Bus Pass.
The news that that the CCTV had won a national award for customer service led to public howls of outrage. The CCTV car shows that Tories in Gun Wharf are simply inhabiting a different planet from the people they claim to serve
The public are tired. Time for a change in Gun Wharf.