The Evening Echo newspaper has reported "joy" at the outcome of the council's decision not to allow a parking scheme to assist a minority of residents near Chalkwell Station. The lives of these residents are blighted by commuter parking. Commuters prefer to park free of charge in residential streets than pay at the profiteering station car park. (Run by NCP, who are also into Mobile CCTV Spy Cams)
The majority of our neighbours are not blighted by commuter parking because they have their very own private driveways, or because they live far enough from the station to be unaffected. Sadly, this majority are unsympathetic to the minority.
The Evening Echo has quoted Mr P who lives near an affected road and is an advocate opposing the blighted minority.
I will spare Mr P his blushes by not disclosing his name in case he has been misquoted by the Echo, which claims that Mr P spoke up at the recent Council Meeting and was jeered by supporters of the proposed parking scheme that would have helped the blighted minority.
Mr P actually referred to himself as one of the "the silent few" when of course his views would seem to represent the majority view, and since he expressed his view at a public meeting, he could not exactly claim to be silent.
I am not surprised to discover that most of us make personal selfish calculations when they are given a vote, and nobody is duty bound to consider what might be the right thing to do for their neighbours. The Echo reports that Mr P, has his own off street parking space, but even so he is not prepared to support any neighbour that does not have the same territorial advantage.
Mr P has the right to assert the value of his parking space and the wisdom of his investment in a parking space, and the home to which it is attached. All is of course a matter for the conscience of Mr P and Southend Council. The Council allows front gardens to be converted into car parking concrete, depleting street parking as they go, and forever increasing the value of Mr P's estate.
Mr P is also quoted as saying, “If parking is so much of an issue for someone, it should be part of their choice when they buy a house in the area."
Mr P clearly has an "I'm all right Jack" attitude, which is most unbecoming, but he is not the only self serving participant in the parking space issue. Our elected councillors have made many parking restriction orders over the years, allowing some streets to have restrictions that prevent commuter parking and consequently increasing the burden on other neighbours, but not Mr P of course who has his own parking space.
I have never been asked to give a view on parking restrictions before and only in this case have the councillors avoided the decision making process and deferred the matter to an opinion poll of a large number of residents, most of whom are unaffected by the issue.
Our esteemed councillor’s have created the problem that affect a small minority of residents, but have then calculated that a minority of discontented residents are worth less to them in electoral terms than a majority of this town who are clearly not prepared to give just a little for a blighted minority.
How sad is that? How tragic is that?
By the way, like Mr P, I also have an off-street parking space. That would be the only thing we have in common.
I would be delighted to hear from any Councilor or neighbour that has read any article on this subject written on these pages.