As a piece of high farce, it cannot be surpassed: Council chief executive Colin Carmichael parks his hulking Jaguar on double yellow lines specifically painted on a section of the North Lane car park to reinforce the fact that drivers cannot park there. The chief has owned up and paid his modest fine. In doing so, he argues that he is no different to anyone else. Not true. He is the administrative head of a local authority which ruthlessly enforces parking rules with punitive financial penalties and is thus in charge of district-wide parking regulation. Moreover, the council he runs self-righteously hectors its citizens about the need to reduce pollution and congestion by getting people out of cars – a point made by regeneration head Ian Brown just this week:
“In other cities people wouldn’t think about driving one-and-a-half miles into the city centre.”
Mr Carmichael is not alone among council staff unable to practise what they preach. One only has to survey the vast staff car park behind the Military Road offices to see the hundreds of vehicles of officials who also reject public transport or bikes or walking in favour of their cars. This may be the most minor transgression, but this episode serves to underline the council’s “do as I say, not as I do” attitude.
Herne Bay Gazette, April 23rd 2015