The following open letter has been submitted to the Louth Leader:
Few can have missed the battle lines that have been drawn up between Campervan owners and LCC. This letter is a way of bringing you the true story, and not the highly spun candy floss version as put forward by Councillor Colin Davie and Steve Willis (Chief Operating Officer).
The LCC Principal Solicitor stated:
“There are continuous problems – mainly throughout the warmer season – with people camping (with motor homes etc) and parking overnight (at the Coastal Car Parks). This is having an impact on the residents in the area as they are being subjected to noise, nuisance, excessive litter, fires from campfires, and verbal abuse from some of the people camping”.
Councillor Colin Davie then appeared on TV and called those who had parked at Huttoft Car Terrace “A Bunch of Freeloaders“. Those parking at Huttoft Car Terrace were New Travellers, an ethnic group protected under the Equality Act 2010. As such this is a racist slur which Councillor Davie has declined to retract.
LCC then continued on their mad spending spree – putting up height barriers, which along with the byelaw has cost over £100,000. They then employed Rent A Cop when the Police decided that overnight parking was not a police matter. This cost further £6,500.
To date only three summons have been issued with a total of seven charges.
Five have now been heard in the Magistrates court, and such was the poor standard of preparation of the case by LCC, the solicitor was not aware of the issuing of Fishing Permits by them (which two of the ‘culprits’ had, and consequently had permission to park overnight).
The discovery of this, mere minutes before the Defendants went into court, caused much gnashing of teeth by the opposition, and they asked for an adjournment.
This would of course mean that the accused would require another day away from their work, and to reinforce the LCC bullying stance, they were then threatened with massive court costs if the case went against them.
As this was trial by bank account both pleaded guilty choosing to feed their children rather than pay thousands of pounds if they lost their case. Which father would choose differently? Despite their forced pleas of guilty one was exonerated completely, and the other fined just £75 for one of the charges. Another bitter disappointment for the Council who were asking for a £500 penalty for each of the five charges.
The third case goes to Court in the New Year.
Steve Willis, Chief Operating Officer, said subsequently: “We issued proceedings against these individuals to enforce the coastal byelaws and the restrictions on unauthorised overnight parking. We’re pleased that the individuals and the court have accepted the validity of the byelaws and sanctions have been imposed accordingly”
Mr Willis seems easily pleased. £75 return on an investment of up to £110,000. No wonder LCC are in such a dire financial position.
LCC has spent £110,000 trying to solve this problem, a stated problem of excessive litter, but have only managed to alienate the Disabled, New Travellers, and Motorhome Owners, whilst wasting the Courts time.
I issue a challenge to Colin Davie, Steve Willis and LCC.
I will not bow down to bully tactics or threats, and I will not go quietly into the night. If you feel that your case is good enough to stand up in a Court of Law, then issue me with a Summons for parking overnight at Huttoft Car Terrace. See me in court or resign.
And if we do go to court and you lose – then the Public have a right to expect you to vacate your offices by the end of the week.
The Battle Of Huttoft Car Terrace is far from over and will go down in folklore – how the oppressed became the victors in this David and Goliath event.