Thursday, May 27, 2010

Petersfield traders told: Carry on flouting the law

In the rare event of the police being in Petersfield it's essential they can
drive their mobility scooters safely on the pavement
insists Hampshire County Council

In a victory for common sense, a Hampshire County Council (HCC) spokesman has told Petersfield shopkeepers to ignore the law.

Traders were up in arms after receiving a letter from HCC telling them to remove their A board signs from the streets.

However, at a secret meeting held at an unnamed venue above Foppy’s Wine Bar, highways officer Wyn Chester reassured Petersfield traders to carry on flouting the law.

They were told if a 1.5metre gap was allowed between their signs and the road the council would not prosecute despite it being against the law.

He said: “We are not intransigent. We realise that there is very little reason to uphold the laws in Petersfield as there are no police to enforce them.

“Turning a blind eye to illegal activity is a necessary requirement these days, just look at parking in the town. Where would we be if we actually enforced double-yellow lines or ‘No Waiting’ restrictions?

“Also police have been quite happy to allow gangs of teenagers to roam the streets late at night smashing bottles, vandalising property and assaulting passers-by. These are all things we may have thought unacceptable 20 years ago but we have to move with the times.

"Where would we be if we still sent all our messages by pigeon post?” he said, before downing another glass of overpriced Chablis.

But a spokesman for Petersfield’s Independent Shop Staffs and Office Force (PISSOF), Matt Tress, insisted the compromise still infringed his human rights.

He said: “If I wanted to have my A board 1.5 metres from the road I would. The fact is I want them balanced precariously on the kerb so people fall over them causing traffic to stop right outside my shop.

“In these hard economic times people just don’t appreciate how hard we have to work at our marketing to survive.

“Mr Chester said ‘We were getting so many complaints – from a blind person or someone who fell over – I have got to be proactive. I can not just turn a blind eye to it.’ Well why not, the person who fell over it did … and they were quite happy after they got a six-figure sum courtesy of Ambulance Chasers Direct.

“It’s about time we all worked together for the good of the community and the prosperity of my bank balance.”


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