I note with dismay the £100 fines handed out to some elderly and disabled customers of Bloomfield Shopping Centre. Fines or as they call them “penalty notices” issued for the crime of parking at a centre which advertises over 2000 free parking spaces. A crime for simply forgetting to display their Blue Badge at disabled parking.
I am aware of customers who found out on a recent visit to Wetherspoons in Newtownards this, what I describe as corporate injustice, seems to be on the increase. Totally oblivious to any changes a customer parked in their car park, had a meal and left.
Shocked and disappointed they opened a letter proclaiming a £75 fine for parking. The customers had not observed any notices, nor were they informed of any changes by staff. The customers did after all park as they had always done, why would they feel the need to examine every wall for new notices, any notices usually relate to menu items.
Customers contacted Wetherspoons who were unsympathetic suggesting they appeal to their operators, something they were in no mood to do given the callous treatment of their customer. I have approached Lady Sylvia Hermon MP and Douglas Carswell MP with a view to this corporate injustice being raised in Parliament. Where are ordinary pensioners to find £100 or £75 for some crime spuriously created? This action must be stopped.
Separately I applaud the action of Lord Maginnis who claims he will go to jail rather than be “Brow Beaten by Bureaucrats” over 80p.
Of course I am more than disappointed at Bloomfields, as a Councillor I would have been supportive of the Centre and its manager Jamie Bill. (I did not subscribe to the them and us approach by some) This is, I feel, a real let down to supporters like myself and the general public who use the centre.
As with Wetherspoons I am completely unaware of such changes, I have personal not observed any of the supposed 3500 leaflets.
In conclusion such fines are utterly disproportionate to the alleged “crime” appearing more an indicator of corporate greed. They will cause upset and anger amongst the very people such organisations claim to serve – Their Customers.
Money saving expert website:-
The firms accuse us of defaming them because our guide:
Informs people that private parking firms operate in an “unstructured system that puts unnecessary power into potentially unscrupulous hands”.
Refers to private parking companies as “cowboys”.
Refers to the sector as “Wild West”.