Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Boston Disability Forum is keeping up the pressure after Boston Borough Council’s decision to introduce parking charges for blue badge holders and its refusal to delay their implementation at least until there is better accessibility to parking ticket machines.
The Forum  is critical of  the borough’s chief traffic warden Councillor Derek Richmond when he claims that he wants to be fair to all members of the community.
“Why should able-bodied people or the disabled community pay when the councillors get free parking!” says a BDF spokesman.
Hardly fair!
However, the Boston Disability Forum believe that introducing car parking charges for the disabled without even having accessible meters in place is not fair and is shameful of this Conservative council.
“Councillor Richmond forgets to mention that they have decided to hit the most vulnerable members of society and introduce charges to make up for the governments cutbacks.
“He also said about disabled people "it's like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas."
“How disrespectful and shameful.
“The BDF know that 30 minutes is not a long enough concession, and have evidence of this. Forum members will happy to speak about this through council questions at the next full council meeting on 25th July 2012  - where the BDF will be holding another protest.
“Please join us to protest against this discrimination.”
And in an e-mail to Boston Chief Executive Richard Harbord, the forum has asked what is being done about its petition to the council at the infamous meeting where the public were denied the right to speak.
It reads: “I wondered if you would be kind enough to let us know what action will be taken by the council over the 837 signatures of objection against car parking charges being introduced for the disabled?
“Thirty minutes is not a long enough concession, and we have a mass of evidence ready to serve to you from health care professionals.
“We also have evidence of towns with only 10% of the population of Boston who give one hour free for every hour bought - the same as Lincoln.
“We urge the council to U Turn and introduce this concession immediately.
“If members of the public decided to take the council to court for discrimination this would cost the tax payer dearly and is hardly fair.
“Speaking of fair:
“Do you think it is fair that Councillor Richmond said of the disabled "it's like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas"
“Do you think it is fair that Ian Martin sat in a wheelchair and pretended to be disabled to test pay machine accessibility?
“Do you think that Councillor Richmond should be lying to the public by saying "we want to be fair to the community" when the real reason the charges are being brought in is to go towards the council cutbacks.
“And why should we pay to park when he doesn't?!!!
“I look forward to hearing your response.
“After all, 800 signatures kept Bank Street open.
"It should be enough to get an hour free for every hour purchased like all these other towns and cities. Boston is not unique to them after all.”
We are not sure in which context Councillor Richmond used the derisory, impuent and insolent expression concerning turkeys and Christmas.
Could it be that he misunderstood the phrase  – which is taken to mean that turkeys are so stupid that they will sign their own death warrants.
As far as we can see, the only turkeys voting for Christmas in the current scenario are those members of the ruling Conservative cabinet, and their servile  sheeplike backbenchers who when asked to jump, ask “how high?”
Perhaps the Tories think that the electors are amnesic and brutish enough to forget how badly they have been roughed up by the time of the next elections in 2015.
Don’t worry, we will remind them.
Equally, if the public pursuit of fairness requires action in the courts, then so be it -  or else the bullies will be allowed to win.
click to enlarge photo
Meanwhile a new commentator has entered the arena.
Calling himself Boston Bill, he uses YouTube to present a series of quirky, idiosyncratic commentaries on political life in Boston, and you can view his videos by clicking here.
In a preface to the movie concerning the disabled parking controversy, he says: “This video is all about equality in Boston.“Unfortunately, the Conservative Boston Borough Council have decided "Equality" means charging Blue Badge Holders to park their vehicles.
“The same cannot be said about councillors and council employees as they do not pay to park, although they all get much more in allowances and pay than most disabled people.”

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  1. Scouter 41July 11, 2012

    He also said about disabled people "it's like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas."

    In fairness to Councillor Richmond, and I am no great fan of his, but he probably was implying that one could no more expect the BDF to support the notion than one might expect a turkey to support the concept of Christmas lunch. At least, I do hope that that is what he was intimating.

    I hasten to add that I am on BDF's side, but I think he may be being quoted out of context in this instance. Fairness where fairness is due...

  2. I can understand how insulting it would be to be called a turkey whatever context it was meant in, and by a councillor is terrible. It was inappropriate and open to interpretation. The council obviously do not like being challenged hence their silly reaction. Afterall it is not rocket science that someone disabled needs a meter with adaptations and longer than those without disabilities to carry out there business. Shame for disabled people, everyone giving them a hard time, where is the love? They are so inspiring afterall.