THE PARKING fiasco at Mount Pleasant turned brutal on Thursday morning when bailiffs hammered on the door of local resident Az Rahman and demand he hand over £2,000 in unpaid fines – then towed his car away when he said he could not pay them.
The high-handed action on film at www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_WtXfQZ1cA – was carried out after Worcestershire county councillors had scheduled an emergency meeting between road chiefs and residents to solve the parking issue – was described as ‘astounding’ and ‘regrettable’ by County Councillor Robin Lunn.
“Good gracious, this is deeply regrettable when we are trying to work something out with the residents,” said Coun Lunn. “This really is not helpful at all.”
Mr Rahman, who lives with his wife, two children and mother at the property, was woken at 7am by bailiffs banging on the door.
“It really frightened my mum and the kids and to be honest I did get a bit aggressive when I answered the door and the next thing I know there’s half a dozen police officers outside,” he said.
Over the next three hours the bailiffs, with two transit vans, seven police officers, at one time with three squad cars, a tow truck and a garage car proceeded to block the road the parking restrictions were supposed to make free for traffic to flow.
“I told them I couldn’t pay – I have a mortgage and a family to feed and the police said if I get violent they’d arrest me,” said the Washford warehouse manager.
Locals are calling for a residents’ parking scheme, already in operation in nearby Beaufort Street, because at the moment, due to parking restrictions, they can only park outside or near their property for a total of 40 minutes a day.
As a result neighbours have between them racked up thousands of pounds in unpaid fines with Mr Rahman owing £2,299 alone.
The plight of the residents is so bad that Century Films were there early this month making a documentary for ITV.
A spokeswoman for Redditch Borough Council said: “We enforce the lines and signs in the traffic regulation orders – there are no exceptions. If these are changed or suspended by the county council then we will enforce them or not accordingly.”
Rebecca Blake, a borough councillor and Labour parliamentary candidate for Redditch, said: “This seems over-zealous to me. Parking schemes should be to help residents and I will be raising this with colleagues and the chief executive.”
Karen Lumley, the Conservative Party candidate, was unavailable for comment. Also fighting for the Redditch seat are Seth Colton (Ind), Peter Jewell (Ukip), and Kevin white (Green).