Mrs Monk alerted me to a story in the local paper about a private company running a business in Southend. I refer to the White Van Spy Cams business, a privatised enterprise.
However there was a misprint, and the story was in fact about how the White Van Spy Cameras were “ruining” enterprise, since they were driving business out of the town centres. A running and ruining enterprise, true with or without the misprint.
But it is worse than that.
When I got myself a parking ticket one boxing day in the City of Westminster I fought that ticket and won that battle. It was then that I discovered that the parking attendant that issued the ticket illegally, was in fact employed by National Car Parks. Westminster is of course in the vanguard of privatisation and political scandals going back to the days of the disgraced Head of Westminster Council, Dame Shirley Porter.
NCP are still at it running and ruining car parks, including the Car Park at Leigh Station, but also in the business of writing parking tickets from pernicious White Van Spy Cams.
Southend Council's Department of Enterprise wrote to me and said there is “no Link” between the Car Park at Leigh and the private enterprise of Spy Cams that are stalking the town.
"No link? Are you sure about that?", I wrote back because NCP run the car park at Leigh Station, and commuters to London would rather park in the street and who could blame them, given the excessive charges made by NCP?
NCP have covered some of their tracks by creating a subsidiary, which they call NSL this is the traffic enforcement arm of NCP
I am told that the privatised parking enforcement in Southend is carried out by a private company, APCOA.
The link with NCP/NSL and APCOA, is that they are both in the dual business of Car parking for profit, and the parallel activity of street parking enforcement. Both activities support each other. Exploitative car parking charges get more people on the streets, where profit is then made on the issuing of parking tickets, and in turn thus encouraging acceptance of the high parking charges in privatised car parks. They cannot lose in this cat and mouse game.
These activities are defended by the Department of Enterprise in Southend which is of course most salient because these enterprises were once public services and are now no-risk opportunities for private enterprise.
NCP/NSL promote the merits of White Van Spy Cams on their web site, where they are happy to boast...
"WHERE ARE WE? WE ARE IN SOUTHEND"