Torquay: Abandoned Car Saga (17.4.2017)

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This car has been ‘parked’ in a side street (Cliff Road immediately adjacent Institute Beach) next to the notorious (UKIP-supporting) Livermead Cliff Hotel (situated on the Torquay seafront) for at least 6 months, and possibly longer. This area is considered ‘exclusive’ by its wealthy residents, but is not ‘gated’ in the traditional sense. Although everyone in this part of South Devon pay Council Tax, it is well-known that the Local Council ‘privileges’ these wealthy areas over those less wealthy. In this incident, this car has been parked ‘legally’ on a side road in an area with no parking restrictions – but the local residents have taken exception to its presence. Around Xmas time 2016 – when I was in this area, I noticed the Local Council had placed a ticket on this car advising that it was to be ‘towed’ and ‘crushed’. I thought this was odd, as no parking regulation had been broken – after-all – it is not illegal to park a car in an area that contains no parking restrictions. At the time I was of the opinion that the Local Council was bluffing in an attempt to get it removed by the owner, and make some money from any arbitrarily imposed fines. Initially, the Local Council was not sure what the status of the car was, and so could not ‘lawfully’ act beyond the threat of fines. This morning, however, I notice that matters have progressed.

It now appears that the car-tax has ‘expired’, and so the Local Council has had the car ‘clamped’, paradoxically stating that this car ‘should not be moved’. After all these months the Local Council have not been able to ‘lawfully’ move or destroy this car, simply because there is no ‘legal’ basis for such action. This is corruption at the local government level, which sees a Local Council coerced into the murky waters of semi-legal activity by a privileged community of Council Tax payers. From what I have heard, these people do not like an ‘old’ looking car parked in their area, and so the Local Council has tried to accommodate these ‘nimby’ attitudes with half-arsed actions that risk the chance of being sued in Court. The point is that at the time this car was parked, ‘no one’ knew whether the owners were on holiday, or would would return in a few week’s time. As matters have transpired, the vehicle does now appear to be ‘abandoned’. What concerns me is the nature of the car’s contents – with a fast-food drink container and straw left near the gear-stick – as if the owner had just popped-out to get something before quickly returning – only never to have returned. The car is obviously not ‘stolen’ or the police would have got involved – so where is the owner? It was left near the seafront, and it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the owner suffered a fatal accident walking on he rocks, or even committed suicide.

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