Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Clamping Down on the Clampers

If anything symbolises the excesses of the "grab what you can" attitude of the Labour years, it has to be the cowboy clamper. One company recently even contrived to sue a restaurant owner in Andover for loss of earnings, because that restaurant owner was warning customers about his operation. "If you carry on to warn people away from the car park causing me loss of earning I will have to issue a county court summons in the region of £150 for each day you do this." That's what the letter actually said.

Produce nothing. Spoil peoples' day, giving them a £150 ticket to go with their £20 takeaway. Complain when thwarted. Sue. Don't even perceive the irony in the situation, where being a good citizen and warning one's customers about a potential problem is grounds for being sued. Fortunately that particular claim was dismissed, but there's plenty of other dubious things going on.

I was recently told about a family who went to Wigan to watch the rugby. When they returned to their car they had a fine, along with another dozen or so cars. There were no signs to say that they would be fined and they are fighting it. I'll let you know if their complaint is heard.

Could it get any worse? Well, it might have done under Labour, but fortunately we won't have to worry about that. The banning of clamping on private land has been a long standing policy and manifesto commitment for the Liberal Democrats, and now Liberal Democrat ministers Lynne Featherstone (Home Office minister) and Norman Baker (Transport minister) have announced the introduction of a new law that will do just that.

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