Not a First of April Joke

Not a First of April Joke
Empty car park in Hunstanton. Credit: Ian Burt

A request for free parking for postal workers may have fallen on deaf ears at the Borough Council even though it was supported by numerous councillors including leader Brian Long, leader of the Opposition Heacham councillor Terry Parrish and Labour leader John Collop, along with several councillors from the North of the Borough including Bob Lawton (Brancaster), Chris Morley (Bircham with Rudhams) and both Hunstanton councillors Carol Bower and Paul Beal.

The initial request for free parking for postal workers came from a Royal Mail manager who emailed councillor Charles Joyce, explaining that morale was low among the 140 plus local postal workers who are expected to deliver Boris Johnston's message to every household, and that as identified key workers free parking may help put a spring in their step. I have not been able to establish why Charles Joyce was chosen, but in the early hours of Monday morning he forwarded the request to Chief Executive Officer, Lorraine Gore, along with Response to Covid-19 Cabinet Member, Heacham councillor Stuart Dark, asking for the request to be considered. He included in the email all other councillors.

Several councillors cross party responded expressing their support for the idea. Council leader Brian Long asked that the email be considered as a formal request and should be dealt with at Silver command level. (Many organisations use the Gold, Silver, Bronze command structure while others use the same system but have the terms strategic, tactical and operational instead. The system came in following the Broadwater Farm riot of 1985.) I have been assured that almost half the councillors have expressed their support in responding to the email with none disagreeing.

Up to today, Town and Around has only met an ansaphone when seeking clarification from the Borough Council's press officer on the situation.

Several services have been put on hold from freedom of information requests to the brown bin collection service, but it seems enforcing parking restrictions in almost desolate Borough Council car parks must go on.

The failure of the Borough Council to turn this into a good news story by responding positively to a request from a group of key workers we all depend on makes me ask why with barely any traffic on the road are parking wardens still working? And is there no job they could do other than issue parking tickets to the very people we depend on for essential services? Maybe the parking wardens could help deliver medicines or groceries to people who are self isolating, or vulnerable people who have been advised not to go out even for exercise.