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Today I took a few minutes out from doing battle with the NHS to do battle with the Council. I say “the Council”, but should probably say “a Council”, since the exact identity of the public body that has attracted my wrath has yet to be determined.

The trigger event was the sudden appearance of a “Residents Only Parking” sign at the end of my road. My suspicions instinctively fell on the City Council, because that is the sort of thing they would do. However, a search for “residents’ parking” on their website pointed to the County Council, so I pursued my enquiries on the County website.

Unfortunately, the County website was equally vague. There is a Parking Shop where you can apply for parking permits. This didn’t seem quite right, but I tried phoning them as (given Oxfordshire’s legendary award-winning commitment to excellence in customer service) they might be able to point me in the right direction. The line was dead.

Perhaps  CPZ (Controlled Parking Zones)  could help. I’m not sure that we are actually in a Controlled Parking Zone, but , presumably, if parking is limited to residents then residents must be able to demonstrate their residential status by e.g. by displaying residents’ parking permits. Not much joy here, so I clicked on the “Contact us” link. This put me back to the Parking Shop, which didn’t seem quite right.

Having run out of other options, I reluctantly opted for Complaints – reluctantly because all I really wanted to do was ask a question (OK, three questions).

Rhino with PC outside County Hall, Oxford

“… our enthusiastic and attentive staff …”

I don’t have an exact copy of my complaint because it was one of those online forms that swallows the text rather than send you a customer friendly email confirming the details of the complaint and promising that it will receive the full attention of the Council’s enthusiastic and attentive staff.

The substance of my complaint is :

I noticed this morning that my road has been designated as a  “Residents Only” parking zone.
  1. Why?
  2. Why were residents not consulted?
  3. Does this mean that we now have to start faffing about with parking permits?

    to be continued ….

    Photo credit : stock.xchng (laptop only)