Friday, 11 June 2010

A braver man than I!

Apparently, Carpsio does his shopping in Dewsbury. Dewsbury, Dewsbury, Dewsbury ... hmmm ... oh, yes, Karen Matthews.

Fucking hell.

Apparently it's not all mentally-retarded benefit cheating fucking retards:

I spend my money in a proper greengrocers, at the little coffee van in the square (£2.20 for two coffees, a danish pastry and 2 chocolate biscuits for the kids – eat my shorts, Starbucks!) at a real butchers, a proper cheese shop and a delicatessen that stocks various salamis and the world’s best pork crackling.

But apparently this northern paradise is under threat:

The bakers I used to go to went bust last year and Ainsleys followed recently – leaving me with the Chav’s choice of Greggs. The cake and ingredients stall in the market went next, followed by fast-food horror show ‘Swift Chick’ (a great loss to the local salmonella industry!) And then the card shop. And the travel agent. Tony’s Textiles seems to have gone west. The bed and furniture shop has long been whitewashed over and the row of fishmongers and butchers in the market place has been steadily decimated over the last 5 years.

There’s a whole street where one or two traders are clinging on by their fingernails amongst a swathe of empty shop fronts and To Let signs.

It’s little wonder why. If I went to ASDA like a normal person I’d be sheltered from the elements, be able to park for free and have a trolley at my convenience as opposed to a rucksack and a buggy that topples over as soon as I put my bag o’ spuds on it.

I can’t even kid myself that the places I like are much cheaper. I know sometimes they are, but I’m sure that most of the time I could get more or less the same goods for a bit less at some hypermarket or other. But, meh. I’m fighting a one-man rearguard action against every innovation since 1983. So sue me.

I’m rambling. The nub of my gist is this: why, other than ballwashing levels of incompetence and general nutsackery, do the council continue to levy parking charges? When the town is so clearly dying on its feet and shoppers are, one presumes, staying away in their droves why extract £2 here and there from those that do want to support the town?

It’s not just the £2. It’s the fact that the machines don’t give change. That they don’t take cards or notes. Before you set off to do your shopping you have a little rigmarole of going through pockets, purses and drawers trying to find the requisite change, or stop somewhere on the way to buy a bottle of pop you don’t want – just to get 2 pound coins. All with kids chattering in your ear and depositing shit in their pants. Hassle.

As Joel Spolsky pointed out, it’s the accumulation of minor gripes and niggles that is the difference between a bad day and a good day and therefore another weight in the balance against the survival of the town centre traders.

It's exactly this kind of mental deficiency that gives us Labour-voting ballbags bleating about Keynesian economics at a central government scale.

Maybe there was a time when parking charges made sense because the town was so busy that parking spaces were valuable. But when your town is dying on its feet, then this kind of petty greed just encourages everyone to stay the fuck out of town and buy their shit elsewhere.

Town councils: just as fucking incompetent as Gordon Brown since fucking forever, too.



bayard said...

A local market town doesn't charge for car parking and has been very successful, businesswise. So successful, in fact, that central gov't is about to hammer all the traders with a massive rise in business rates.

Anonymous said...

And as if that isn't dumb enough, Labour councils like Norwich close down much needed temporary car parks on waste ground, because "The tariff levels might encourage commuting and undermine the overall transport strategy".

The same Labour fucknuts who are desperately clinging to their dream of Unitary Status, rushed through during the last days of the previous government.

The Twisted Fire Stopper said...

It's happening all over the country. We have a Tesco superstore on the outskirts that has all but killed the row of shops nearest to it, and they have just opened another superstore in the middle of town, on the grave of our old Woolies. The effing council charge £2.10 for three hours parking, and the machine doesn't take cards or bronze coins. Why £2.10? Because it doesn't give change!
Tesco, though, will swipe your carpark ticket and give you two hours for free. It's almost as if the council WANT the town to die.

Roger Thornhill said...

It is not just that parking meters do not give change, the don't even give you the extra time.

I mean, these things have LCD displays, microchip control. To suggest they could not divide your tender by the coat per minute is beyond disingenuous.

No, these devices rob us and the council does not give a shit.

Joseph Takagi said...

My local council recently lowered parking charges to encourage people back into town

The previous Labour council had treated parking as a piece of social engineering "charge people more for parking and they'll get on the bus". No, they fucking didn't. They went to Tesco, to out-of-town stores, or in the case of people a few miles out, to other towns. The result of this genius was that a lot of the town centre is pound shops and charity shops.

Parking charges are there for one reason: to manage limited supply. If your car parks aren't full at 2pm on a Saturday, you are charging too much.

bayard said...

"It's almost as if the council WANT the town to die."

Long ago, when I sat on a town council, we wanted to do something about car parking charges to encourage shoppers into the town. I suggested putting the minimum charge up from 40p to £1 and making it free in the afternoons, on the grounds that the major hassle is not the expense, but having to go to the machine in the pissing rain and buy a ticket. I thought this would be a revenue neutral move. However, the district council, who controlled the parking, were based in another town where all the supermarkets were and and didn't give a fuck about our town. So they did bugger all except start charging on Saturday afternoons, which up until then had been free.

Anonymous said...

What I bleeding detest are those bastard machines where you have to guess how long you will need. If you over estimate they keep the money and if you under-estimate there is a van with a man ready to clamp you for overstay ---I kid you not.

Fucking place.

Where I live in Spain the car park on the side of the fish dock charges by the MINUTE.

If they can do it why can't the UK?