Discussion Forum
Clamping in Mytholmroyd

Posted by Fran
Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Update to the Mytholmroyd.net from traders about the clamping which is ongoing causing great distress to many people. One lady was so worried about being clamped when taking her elderly mother to the doctors, she parked on the Community Centre car park and then had her mother walk the considerable distance to the Health Centre.

Local councillors met with a representative of the Health Centre before Christmas but nothing at all was resolved.

The Hardware shop relinquished their parking spot of 15 years so that a raised flower bed could be erected at the back of their shop. They were promised they would be allowed to park on the Health Centre car park but now have to park their car on the access road to the Health Centre. All the other shopkeepers now do the same which reduces the width for cars coming in and out of the Health Centre. This is dangerous for pedestrians, mums with prams, older people or wheelchair users who can't get to the Health Centre through the memorial gardens, which is accessed by steps.

A fire engine trying to get to a fire at Waites' Bakery had diffriculty getting through last week.


Posted by Cllr. John Beacroft-Mitchell
Thursday, 18 January 2007

Before Christmas, I arranged a meeting between a representative from Grange Dene medical centre and local traders.

During this meeting it was acknowledged that communication over the issue of parking between the medical centre and local community had not been good but this meeting cleared up a number of misconceptions and rumours.

According to the centre, parking restrictions came about after a number of patients from Luddendenfoot and the surrounding area had not been able to park whilst attending the centre. At that time, a significant number of commuters and other people were effectively blocking spaces for hours at a time.

The clamping had its desired effect and the carpark is now rarely more than 75% full. Unfortunately the ill will and damage to community relations by clamping were massive side effects of this "nuclear option".

Moving forward; there are still ongoing discussions between the parties to ensure that patients to the medical centre have parking without a detrimental impact on the local community.

These meetings and discussions have been open and frank but productive.

I hope to be able to give an update in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, Mytholmroyd Community Centre is encouraging people to use their carpark and have started to operate an honesty box system.

There are wider issues surrounding parking in Mytholmroyd but I shall leave those for another post.

Many thanks

JohnBM


Posted by a resident
Friday, 9 February 2007

If you or your family attend the Health Centre in Mytholmroyd and are, in your opinion, clamped mistakenly because you are on legitimate business at the doctors, dentist or optician and wish to complain, please be aware of the following.

1) Your telephone call to the practice may be taped.

2) Should you or someone on your behalf ring the practice and complain and raise their voice in anger, they could receive a visit from the police the following day with a transcript of the conversation and a warning.

3) The day after the warning you could receive a letter from the practice advising you that the practice will no longer treat you and that you must attend a surgery outside the area with a police presence. Zero tolerance is in operation.

4) When you attend the surgery outside the area, two policemen and a social worker will be present as well as a doctor.

This has already happened to one family in Mytholmroyd causing maximum distress.

(We normally don't encourage anonymous postings but we make exceptions if there is good reason: this was sent by someone known to the Hebden Bridge Web, a respected member of the Mytholmroyd community - webmaster)


From Andrew Hall
Friday, 9 February 2007

Your anonymous contributor claims:

"If you or your family attend the Health Centre in Mytholmroyd and are, in your opinion, clamped mistakenly because you are on legitimate business at the doctors, dentist or optician and wish to complain, please be aware of the following.

1) Your telephone call to the practice may be taped."


But surely that's good for everyone? It's a record of what was said and how it was said. How can that be a cause for concern? Why does that merit mention in this post?

"2) Should you or someone on your behalf ring the practice and complain and raise their voice in anger, they could receive a visit from the police the following day with a transcript of the conversation and a warning."

Maybe in exceptional circumstances. But those who 'raise their voice in anger' can do so in many different ways. Raising your voice in anger can mean using swear words, insults and threats, in which case, yes, those who use such language and behaviour need to be reminded that we live in a civilised society and should not stoop to such depths.

"3) The day after the warning you could receive a letter from the practice advising you that the practice will no longer treat you and that you must attend a surgery outside the area with a police presence. Zero tolerance is in operation."

So is Zero Tolerance a bad thing? Coming from a family with many medical practitioners in it, I know how abusive, insulting, threatening and offensive patients can be. That's precisely why point 1) above is so important, so that an independent arbitrator can assess the situation.

"4) When you attend the surgery outside the area, two policemen and a social worker will be present as well as a doctor."

This would only happen in exceptional circumstances. Policemen and social workers don't come cheap and would only be used in such a case if there was a threat of violence, or behaviour likely to breach the peace.

This contributor is making a mountain out of a molehill. Park in the Mytholmroyd Health Centre and the police will be after you! Ridiculous!


Posted by Lou
Saturday, 10 February 2007

I may be entirely wrong on this but in my opinion the chap who sits in a darkish grey soft top Alpha Romeo (I think it is) and who usually appears to be on his mobile phone, is the clamper. There may be another one, but this one I have seen on three occasions when I have been to the Medical Centre and when the clamping has been in operation.

He is always parked on the edge of the far wall as you come into the car park, more towards the right hand side, facing the car park entrance.

He is in an ideal position to not only see who is coming into the car park, but also to see if they walk to the Medical Centre.

I have been near the door of the MC, have looked back and have seen him watching me.

It would appear from previous posts that you are not allowed to complain now when you get wrongly clamped, and even get penalised for it .... hmmmm ... interesting!!


Posted by Yvonne Dumsday
Saturday, 10 February 2007

I wish I had visited this site before parking in the centre car park yesterday. I live over seventy miles away and was visiting my Mother for her 91st birthday and needed to pop in to the Health Centre, to make an appointment for her; the chemist, to collect some items for her; the hardware store to buy a bulb for her.

Unfortunately, I did these tasks in the reverse order and went to the hardware store first (for all of 2 minutes). On my return I had been clamped and had to pay 75 to be released.

I shall write to the Health Centre - with proof of my visit there and to the chemist - as there is nothing on their sign to say one may not visit them plus other businesses.

Has anyone obtained a refund yet? I live in hopes.


Posted by Jon & Mary Duerden
Sunday, 11 February 2007

Could Andrew Hall tell me if he is in favour of being clamped for parking and doing a 2 minute shop and I mean 2 minutes because if he is then I must presume he doesn't shop local and I can assure him that if the clampers don't stop soon he won't be able to shop local because there won't be any shops left.

I don't think you realise how serious this has got.


Posted by a resident
Friday, 9 February 2007

Zero tolerance is no bad thing and nobody is suggesting that the Health Centre should be subject to abusive or threatening behaviour, but nor should the patients and the clampers are certainly coming top at doing that. If you arrive to make an appointment, or are few minutes early for one and pop into any of the shops nearby you will be clamped. Same applies if you nip to a shop after your appointment.

Perhaps the big signs in the complex could be amended - as in "don't buy a light bulb" while your waiting...and "definitely don't buy a paper to read while your waiting".

The clampers do not accept "I'm ill" as an excuse. You will be told to walk to the nearest cash point a quarter of a mile away. Then and only then will you get your car back. Then you can go to the doctors as planned, or go home as the case may be probably feeling more ill and definitely more upset than before you set out that day.

It's only a matter of time before someone has a heart attack with the stress of being clamped and approached by two chaps wearing baseball caps asking for money.


From Andrew Hall
Sunday, 11 February 2007

If it's as serious as you all suggest, then it's a scandal. In such a case, it would be more appropriate to approach BBC1's Watchdog, or one of our national newspapers, than to rely on a posting to our much loved Hebweb.

Of course there has to be leeway to allow people to pop to the shops to buy a paper or whatever. The big problem is, where do you draw the line? 2 minutes to get a newspaper? 4 minutes to buy a sandwich? 20 minutes to do a quick supermarket shop? All day to shop and go for a walk? Where do you draw the line?

If everyone worked to the spirit, rather than the letter, of the law, there would be no problem. But, just as some people feel they've been unfairly treated, there will be others who will take full advantage of a less-than-Zero-Tolerance approach by the enforcers. Rules are only there for those who don't know how to behave, and it's regrettable that those of us who do know how must suffer as a result.

I could say a lot about the company who run the clamping operation in Mythomroyd. Go to the Keighley News website, and do a search on car parking in Haworth. You will see that they run a black and white operation. The slightest transgression, and you're clamped. It's letter of the law stuff through and through.

So where does the answer lie? How can you allow people a bit of flexibility, but at the same time prevent people from abusing the car park facility? I don't know. But if anyone, at any time, has been prevented from attending an appointment at the surgery as a result of a lack of parking spaces, then surely, it's not unreasonable for the surgery to take action to prevent such a situation.


Posted by a resident
Monday, 12 February 2007

Andrew said:
"If it's as serious as you all suggest, then it's a scandal. In such a case, it would be more appropriate to approach BBC1's Watchdog, or one of our national newspapers, than to rely on a posting to our much loved Hebweb."

It is serious. All your suggestions have been considered. Another is that we contact the BMA.

We feel this is exactly the place to have this discussion because it is for "discussion of issues important to the communities of Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and the surrounding hills and villages" if you check the top of the page.


Posted by Fran of the Mytholmroyd Net
Monday, 12 February 2007

Below is an update from Councillor John Beacroft-Mitchell to the Mytholmroyd.net:

"Clamping update: A letter was sent from the traders to the Group Practice on 22 Jan suggesting an amicable solution to the parking/clamping issue. Since then the traders have had a reply (30 Jan) saying that the doctors have recently appointed an executive committee (Drs. Allcock, Taylor and Hebden) and a new practice manager and they will be responding to trader's suggestions shortly."

In the meantime, visitors to the Health Centre need to be made aware of the strict limitations in operation, if they wish to avoid being clamped.

This forum has gone some way to doing that. Please tell as many people as you can so that further unnecessary distress can be avoided.


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Monday, 12 February 2007

I cannot believe this issue has re-surfaced!

Why should a medical centre operate and maintain a shoppers car park on behalf of local traders and the shoppers themselves?

If residents and traders take issue with the provision of local parking, this can only be directed at the local council. The medical centre has one responsibility and only one in this regard, to make parking available to service users and staff. Why must a medical cenrtre put such a service in jeapordy for the sake of local traders and residents?

As myself and others have already made clear before, any compromise made by the medical centre, or a return to the previous arrangement, would be totally unworkable. Let us not forget taht the very reason that the medical centre has been given no option but to enforce these measures is due to the parking being abused. Did anyone on Hebweb get up on their soapbox when that was happening?


Posted by a resident
Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Mr Marascalco

The Medical Centre car park is for the people who work there and the patients, as you have kindly explained to those of us who do not understand.

The patients are being clamped, because the clampers are incapable of discriminating between genuine visitors to the Health Centre and others. The significant "others" ie those who were parking there all day, have largely disappeared. It doesn't take long to get the message across as clearly these were local people too.

The clampers are having a laugh. They are watching people visit the Health Centre and if they divert for 2 minutes to buy a paper or a light bulb they are clamping them. Clearly this is wrong.

This issue will continue to resurface as long as the situation prevails, despite your ebullient efforts to close this discussion down.

People need to be informed. A letter to patients explaining the rules perhaps?

I respectfully suggest there has to be another way .


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Occasions such as those you describe are most likely few and far between from the evidence presented in this forum, and the majority of objections and complaints against the medical centre refer to shoppers and traders being hard done by, or the danger caused by traders who “have to” park in places which allegedly cause emergency vehicles access problems.

Appeals made under the circumstances you suggest ie. genuine patients visiting the centre for an appointment and then absent-mindedly buying a newspaper or a lightbulb(!), will most likely be treated fairly by the medical centre, and the fine refunded. But, anyone who uses the car park for purposes other than visiting the medical centre will deservedly be clamped, whether that is for two minutes or two hours. There is adequate signage, and there has been enough public clamour surrounding the issue to give very few individuals a reasonable excuse for using the car park for any purpose other than visiting the centre.

I must say that fitting a clamp in “2 minutes” (if that is an honest timing) demonstrates a level of skill and speed with a clamp that I was previously unaware of. These guys must be incredible!

And before I forget, “It's only a matter of time before someone has a heart attack” is a blatant example of scaremongering propaganda, and a very shameful attempt to manipulate. I nearly had a heart attack myself when I read it! ;-)

There must be a way to at the very least ensure those who were mistakenly clamped were released quickly. If patients’ vehicle registration numbers, arrival and departure times were logged by the centre on a card which was returned to the patient as they departed, the clampers would have no argument against releasing the vehicle. It would also discourage any alleged over-zealous clamping.


From Andrew Hall
Wednesday, 14 February 2007

I know this is off topic, but, Johnny, are you the one who wrote many of Little Richard's hits, and wrote enduring stuff such as "Starlight Starbright", and "Ready Teddy Rip It Up". Or are you lurking under a pseudonym?


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Tuesday, 13 February 2007

O/T it certainly is.

I'm surprised you didn't mention my own my personal favourite "Good Golly, Miss Molly"

I am however very flattered that you've been Googling me. Bless.


Posted by Graham Barker
Tuesday, 13 February 2007

The medical centre, and presumably its car park, is a publicly-funded resource. We’re all paying for it. It belongs to us. It’s therefore unacceptable for the doctors and clampers to behave like little Hitlers. There ought to be some mechanism for making the centre managers account for their decision to bring in such draconian measures without any kind of consultation, especially with neighbouring traders, who are as much part of the community as the practice. (Do medical centre staff never shop locally?)

The odious way wheel-clampers operate is also so well known that it must surely have occurred to centre managers that this was going to be a hugely unpopular and sledgehammer solution to the original problem of long-stay parking. Clamping should be a last resort, not a first resort.

As someone whose family has suffered the distress and expense of clamping by entrapment (and yes, it is genuinely distressing - smirkers please note, the risk of heart attack is not far-fetched) I agree with one of yesterday’s posters that there has to be another way. Giving free rein to cowboy wheel-clampers is not the answer to anything.


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Yes, it is a publicly funded resource, one which is provided for service users and staff, not shoppers and traders. Just because you contribute to the state does not mean it "belongs" to you, or that you can access all of the services it provides irrespective of purpose. If you disagree, why not try helping yourself to some Income Support payments or turning up at Calder High to brush up on your language skills, after all, you are paying for these services as well.

If those making such a fuss are such a staunch advocate for allowing public access to publicly funded services, then why is it fair that traders, ie. private, profit-making enterprises, benefit so directly from publicly funded services? It is clear, that these supposedly "draconian" measures have been introduced to protect the medical centre's number one priority, their service users and staff, what is there to account for here?

And I really don't understand how anyone can be clamped by entrapment. Perhaps a big sign saying "Oh go on, park here, we don't mind" with tiny small print underneath saying "But if you are not authorised to use this car park you will be clamped!".

Don't want the stress of being clamped? Then don't park where there are signs telling you that you will be unless you are authorised to do so! And if you are in any doubt? Ask someone! It is not difficult.

To those objecting, where are all the suggestions for fair and workable resolutions to this issue? I see a lot of manipulative propoganda, bullish and hysterical scaremongering, but little else.


Posted by Lou
Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Johnny Marascalco states "it is clear, that these supposedly "draconian" measures have been introduced to protect the medical centre's number one priority, their service users and staff".

I agree with you on this one Johnny, but perhaps you have missed one incy wincey teeny weenie iddie biddy point here ... people who are using the Medical Centre facilities are getting clamped! The only difference is that they may have arrived slightly early and gone first to the hardware shop or the newsagent or whatever prior to going to the MC ... but they are getting clamped!

Quite clearly the new car parking system set up by those at the very heart of our community, and the very people we are supposed to look up to and respect - ie the Doctors - is not working quite as efficiently as they would have liked.

Not only would it be interesting to hear the collective view of the Doctors themselves (who seem to be particularly quiet on this), but it would also be interesting to find out whether or not those who have been clamped whilst visiting the MC facilities, as Yvonne did, have had their clamp fee refunded and an apology.


Posted by David Martin
Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Is this Johnny Marascalco for real or is he just playing 'Devil's Advocate' for the sake of some obscure self-satisfaction.
Mytholmroyd was a nice place to shop - easy to park for the 5 - 10 minutes necessary (to buy a light bulb or even a meat pie)!
Everyone understands that the parking area should not be abused by long term parkers - but surely there is another, more reasonable way to resolve the problem rather than employ the 'Clampers From Hell' (or Howarth).

Maybe Mr. Marascalco would prefer that we park on the A646 Trunk road (where allowed) and cause delay & disruption to through traffic.

Shop in Mytholmroyd at the moment? No thank you!


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Thursday, 15 February 2007

Good God in Heaven!

Yes Lou, there are service users being clamped. Because they are making themselves appear to be shoppers taking advantage of the car park and not patients visiting the centre. Whose fault is that? How is anyone supposed to tell the difference?

As I have made abundantly clear, and should be obvious from the discussion (and the post which follows your most recent comment), the loudest voices of complaint are those of (or those supporting) traders and shoppers, whose complaints are mis-directed. This is an altogether different matter. It is not the responsibility of the MC to provide parking for anyone else other than service users and staff. This is undeniably the responsibility of the Council, who appear to be satisfied with jumping on the MC bashing bandwagon and having discussions with them rather than facing up to and addressing what is clearly an oversight in their part.

I'm no fan of the idea of having to pay a release fee to over-zealous clampers, however, knowing the rules under which the car park now operates, I would simply not take the risk. Anyone who does so, only have themselves to blame. We are supposed to be responsible for our behaviour, are we not?

So you want adequate parking for traders and shoppers in Mytholmroyd? Direct your complaints to the Council not the MC.

You got clamped because you made a mistake and either didn't pay attention to the car park signage, or assumed that it was obvious you were going to the MC, or thought a quick visit to the shops wouldn't be noticed? Accept responsibility for that mistake.

No, I would not prefer anyone parking on the A646, or anywhere else that caused obstruction or was dangerous. That said, it has been made clear that certain people are doing so all the same as was stated in the first post of this thread. So, people are choosing to risk lives and cause an obstruction to pedestrians and emergency vehicles etc. Why? To make a point? Because they have to? That's really lovely behavior don't you think? Risking other peoples lives to make a point, or because you can't be bothered to walk.


Posted by Lou
Thursday, 15 February 2007

My, my Johnny - calm down - you will give yourself a heart attack without even going near the Medical Centre car park clampers!

If you had read the thread correctly before stating "you got clamped because you made a mistake and either didn't pay attention to the car park signage, or assumed that it was obvious you were going to the MC, or thought a quick visit to the shops wouldn't be noticed? Accept responsibility for that mistake" you would have realised that I did not state that I had been clamped, nor have I been clamped fortunately.

I am simply stating that I do not agree with the measures which have been taken by the local Doctors to try to solve the problem. Yes I can quite see where they are coming from in trying to discourage the long term parkers, but I do believe they have caused more upset amongst their own patients who are using the car park and still getting clamped.


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Thursday, 15 February 2007

I am perfectly calm, my blood pressure remains normal, and there is absolutely no risk of me having a heart attack believe me. There's only one exclamation mark in my post, and that is merely to emphasise my astonishment at the inability of certain people to differentiate between two quite seperate issues.

My questions were rhetorical Lou, not directed at you at all. Perhaps my communication skills have let me down there, but please be assured that I prefer to avoid becoming agitato or get personal about individuals using the forum.

I've said it before and I will say it again. There has not been a single person who has proposed a fair and viable alternative to the current situation which tells it's own story. It seems to me that there are a number of individuals who seem to lobbying for nothing short of normal service resuming at the car park. I wonder who they might be?


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Thursday, 15 February 2007

I am perfectly calm, my blood pressure remains normal, and there is absolutely no risk of me having a heart attack believe me. There's only one exclamation mark in my post, and that is merely to emphasise my astonishment at the inability of certain people to differentiate between two quite seperate issues.

My questions were rhetorical Lou, not directed at you at all. Perhaps my communication skills have let me down there, but please be assured that I prefer to avoid becoming agitato or get personal about individuals using the forum.

I've said it before and I will say it again. There has not been a single person who has proposed a fair and viable alternative to the current situation which tells it's own story. It seems to me that there are a number of individuals who seem to lobbying for nothing short of normal service resuming at the car park. I wonder who they might be?


Posted by Adam
Thursday, 15 February 2007

Please Johnny. Calm down about the clampers. You'd have us all thinking you are one of those baseball cap clad bandits.

There is one easy solution to all this upset,which everybody seems to have missed. A barrier on the entrance. You collect a exit ticket from the doctors, dentist, opticions or chemist when you have a appointment or purchase something. There you go,all problems solved. People will know where they stand. There will be no confusion as to where you can and can't go, also. It's gets rid of Little and Large and their clamping menace.


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Thursday, 15 February 2007

I am calm, almost sen-like in fact. There is nothing about my posts which says otherwise, so please do not patronise me Adam.

Are you going to pay for this barrier and ticketing mechanism etc. If not you then who will, the MC? Why on earth should the MC meet this very considerable cost out of a tightly controlled and limited NHS budget? They've been providing Mytholmroyd with free parking for long enough, I think that is quite enough generosity on their part.

I've been posting here long before the clampers appeared at the MC and am not defending them at all, merely defending the right of the MC to preserve access to the car park for their staff and service users. I do own a baseball hat though.


From Andrew Hall
Thursday, 15 February 2007

The problem with a barrier is who pays? Why should the practice or the local NHS trust pay for something that will bring them no benefit? Why should they fork out for something that's only needed because some people are abusing the system? Do we really need a sledgehammer to crack a nut?

I think this situation will resolve itself quite quickly. Mytholmroyd is a small community. Word spreads fast. Even at this stage, there can be few people who do not understand that, if you park in the Medical Centre car park, you need to make sure you go to the Medical Centre before you do anything else. You need to be aware of furtive and vigilant people lurking in cars. You need to assume that the car park is a zero tolerance zone.

Using Carstoppers may well have been a deliberate ploy on behalf of the centre, who must know the track record of that company. They have been described as the worst clamping company in the UK. They once clamped a minibus for disabled children because in was partly encroaching on another space even though the car park was half empty. They've clamped innumerable people for not displaying a ticket in the appropriate place (it MUST be attached to the windscreen, and upright), on one occasion, doing so whilst an elderly and disabled occupant was asleep in his car. They once took Marks and Spencers vouchers from a couple of elderly ladies who had no money. They appear to rejoice in clamping people who, on realising they have no coins, nip up into the Haworth Tourist Information Centre to get change, and are clamped in the few minutes they are absent. This information is all in the public domain. If you have time, go up to the Changegate car park in Haworth and have a look at the Carstoppers employees. They're usually in a van, watching for the slightest transgression. I can't help thinking of spiders lying in wait at the edge of their web.

Carstoppers are not breaking the law. Their boss, Ted Evans of Haworth, has, on many occasions said that the car parks in which he operates have clearly displayed terms and conditions, and if those terms and conditions are broken, then you have to face the consequences. And sadly, and however much you hate it, he's right.

In Mytholmroyd, the notoriety of Carstoppers means that anyone who risks using the car park does so in the full knowledge of the consequences. As I've said before, this is a company that sees things in black and white, and with the prospect of a £70 fine per car, will move heaven and earth to try and get your money.

So, quite simply, don't go there! If you do, you do so at your own risk. But if only everyone obeyed the rules, it wouldn't be long before both the Medical Centre and Carstoppers realised that policing the car park in such a draconian way was not a profitable option, and things would soon revert to the good old halcyon days.


Posted by Bernie
Friday, 16 February 2007

Johnny, get a life and get a grip. These people are arguing against something they disagree with - it is not your place to fight back, and have people telling you to calm down - and don't say you are calm as I am sick of reading that, and you clearly are far from, or you wouldn't blah blah blah.

Leave the argument to the complainants and the medical centre, and pipe down.

And parking on the main road doesnt obstruct emergency vehicles? Traffic coming towards would stop?! But like everyone else on here, I will be wrong, as only Mr Marascalco is correct, it would appear.


Posted by Lou
Friday, 16 February 2007

Quote from Andrew Hall "In Mytholmroyd, the notoriety of Carstoppers means that anyone who risks using the car park does so in the full knowledge of the consequences".

The problem is that there will always be people who used to be local but who are now living outside the area, ie Yvonne, who are not aware of the problem prior to parking there. She legitimately used the MC facilities on behalf of her elderly mother, but still got clamped because she made the mistake of going to a local shop first.

Well done Adam for at least trying to come up with a solution to the problem. Perhaps we could do with further ideas on how to solve the problem for the Doctor and the local community alike, without having to resort to the horrors of the clampers.


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Thursday, 15 February 2007

Again, and it bores me to have to repeat this, but I am as entitled to voice my opinion as anyone else on the forum. It is very much my right to put forward an alternative view if I wish to. Ignore my viewpoint if you like, but we do still live in a democracy and have the right to freedom of speech.

Please do not attempt to bully me into staying silent about a matter which I have a valid (and yet to be comprehensively disproven) viewpoint on. I have stated simple facts which have been completely ignored by the majority of complainants. And the reason I have made clear that I am calm and not the least bit upset, is because I have been repeatedly told to calm down by people in the forum, which is incredibly patronising, and far more likely to rile me.

The argument does not belong simply to the complainants, especially since the medical centre clearly has no representation here. That would be no argument (or preferably, discussion) at all and much of the negative and manipulative comments about the MC parking issue deserve to be challenged. In fact, many of them beg to be. Any censoring or bullying and intimidation to prevent this is simply totalitarianism. If I am wrong, prove it, do not patronise or intimidate me and think that makes you right.


Posted by Lou
Friday, 16 February 2007

PS - Hear hear Bernie ...


Posted by Kathy
Friday, 16 February 2007

I was told about a lady who went for a blood test. She had to starve herself overnight. The nurse commented when the blood test was complete - "now you can go and break your fast with a drink and something to eat at ........... ".

Now the nurse probably didn't know if she was parked up or on foot and was probably just making polite conversation, but the suggestion was taken up and she was clamped, because where she went was adjacent to the Medical Centre.

I think the reason the traders have posted so much here is because the traders are getting the stories and the earache and supplying TLC. A good service in return for the cost of a light bulb, meat pie or a coffee :-)

I'm not a trader. I've not been clamped.

The most useful aspect to this discussion is it's ability to inform.


Posted by Nigel
Monday, 19 February 2007

OK, people genuinely visiting the Health Centre should be able to visit without having to park elsewhere. But surely the current heavy handed aproach is not the answer.

Cannot a ticketing system be introduced wherby a free half hour ticket can be obtained from a machine to allow one to do the shopping one may need to do. Still keep the clampers in operation but only allow them to clamp a vehicle if the vehicle overruns the free half hour. The clampers would still be able to discern between people who go to the Health Centre or elsewhere and allow time accordingly.


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Monday, 19 February 2007

Having now seen the signage for the car park, I do not understand how there can be any ambiguity about who can and cannot park, and when they cannot.

If these were road signs, an excuse given to the police as to why they were not observed such as "I didn't know" or "I haven't lived here for a while" or "I was only doing 50mph for a few minutes" simply would not wash. If anyone cannot read or understand the signs, they probably shouldn't be allowed to use a motor vehicle at all.


Posted by Lou
Monday, 19 February 2007

OK, so we all have a different take on this, whatever the signage, whatever the road markings, whatever, whatever, whatever. Perhaps instead of continually going around in circles over the rights and wrongs of the situation, we need to agree to disagree.

Surely the way forward now is to have an input of constructive ideas on how to solve the problem. These could then be put to the Health Centre Managers in order to try to resolve the situation without the continued use of the dreaded clampers.


Posted by Tom Standfield
Monday, 19 February 2007

Why does Johnny Marascalo feel he has to answer to nearly every post on this thread? And who is he? In spite of what he says, I can't find any mention of him before his post of 9th November, posting on this topic. The fact that he so obviously does not use his real name leads me to suspect that he is either a clamper (probably not) or an employee of the Health Centre. The point is not that there are not enough notices, but that the Health Centre should work with the community to find a solution to a situation which is upsetting so many people.


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Tom (or whatever your real name is) you could not be more wrong, or paranoic, though I am flattered that you have taken time to investigate me. What would the purpose be of trying to find out who I am? Given the level of antipathy directed toward me, that is indeed a worry.

To answer your question, I answer many posts because many are directed at me or in response to mine, and because (as I have repeatedly made clear) many of those posts deserve to be challenged. Is it unfair or incorrect of me to respond to those who try to dismiss my point of view without actually addressing any of the points I make?

Again, why should the Medical Centre take the lead in this matter? Or pay to resolve it? And shouldn't individuals take responsibility for their own mistakes?

And this is an incredibly important point for all those self-satisfied tubthumpers out there. Where was the community dialogue or support when the car park was being abused by members of the community and other members of the community were suffering as a result? Where was the public outcry, the media coverage, the internet discussion forums?

Community? Don't make me laugh.

Why does this community not act to protect itself, and simply not park where there is any prospect of being clamped? And if the community is in so much crisis, why does it not take it upon itself to make all who belong aware of the new parking rules. Not that there can realistically be many who are unaware when we consider the media coverage and community word of mouth.


Posted by Larry Kin
Monday, 19 February 2007

I agree with Lou, we need some constructive ideas on how to solve the problem. Here is my solution- don't park at the carpark unless you intend to solely use the facilities at the medical complex. This solution has a beautiful simplicity: it doesn't involve anyone taking any active action, they need simply not park in the car park if they are not solely using the medical complex. Surely a solution that all can achieve?

There does seem to be some unresolved problems though: (i) where to park if you want to do some shopping and visit the medical complex; (ii) how to stop this circular discussion.

Re (i): I notice from another similar discussion that the Co-op kindly offers 1.5 hours free parking to anyone. This gives you ample time to jog to the medical complex, have a check-up, buy a light bulb and then jog back. The added benefit is that this will help combat obesity, a significant cause of visits to the medical complex in the first place. In the long term the need for visits to the medical complex will be reduced (although perhaps a slight increase in the proportion of visits due to knee injuries). A pleasing symbiosis I am sure all will agree.

Re (ii): People who have had their free parking taken away from them by the organisation that owns the car park get over it and keep quiet. It may seem radical that people who own land can charge people for use of that land, and indeed there may be Proudhonian debates about the issue (although that doesn't seem to be what is at stake in the discussions here) but given the nature of the British economy there does not seem to be any inalienable right to free parking on someone's land.

All problems solved, so no need for any further posts on this topic.


Posted by Kathy
Tuesday, 20 February 2007

If the word "Community" makes you laugh Johnny then it's your loss because we do have one. And the very thought that you might work in the Health service at any level is a terrible thought. A little compassion wouldn't come amiss.

Despite what you say not everyone does know about the clamping. Apart from something in the Courier 6 months ago, a couple of letters in the local paper and this forum nobody has been informed that when using the Health Centre they must not go to any of the shops nearby. I've not had any communication from the Health Centre telling me what the rules are. Not everyone has internet access. I am told the practice has over 18,000 patients.

When you are ill or a member of your family is ill you are not always as alert to these things as you should be.

The discussion will continue as long as stories circulate about patients suffering - which they are. Who in their right mind would park there if they knew?


Posted by Graham Barker
Tuesday, 20 February 2007

At the risk of upsetting a certain rather tiresome attention-seeker, three points:

  1. The idea of a parking ticket system that allows a reasonable amount of free or redeemable time is a good one. It works elsewhere and will presumably pay for itself, so it's something of a mystery why this wasn't the first remedy to be tried by the medical centre.

  2. The car park isn't strictly speaking private land. It's a resource provided out of taxation, in which case the argument that the medical centre has the right to act entirely in its own narrow interest loses some of its force. Quite how much it loses is debatable, but there should surely have been much more consultation on use and operation of the car park than has been the case.

  3. Unless this has been suggested already, it might be useful for those most affected by the situation (I confess I'm not one of them) to contact Radio 4's daily 'You And Yours' consumer programme and ask them to do a piece on it. Their contact details are here. They're based in Manchester and did a very prompt and fair job on the Millpond and on an unrelated matter I was marginally involved in. Coverage of a local issue with national relevance might persuade the medical centre at least to face up to the problems that have arisen from its decision to employ the UK's most notorious clamping firm.


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Honestly, it just gets more hilarious each time. Why on earth would I be upset? Because someone is unable to grasp some very simple concepts?

The word community does not make me laugh, it is the use of the word in this context and for reasons which I made abundantly clear. I have evey symapthy with those who have been clamped, fairly or otherwise, however one must accept responsibility for all the reasons I have previously explained. The community word is being bandied about by a select few whose interests lie only with themselves, yet find it convenient to tell horror stories about little old ladies being clamped, local economic meltdown, risk to emergency services and mothers with prams, likelihood of heart attack and death etc etc etc.

The car park is clearly signed, there has been widespread debate, there has been at least two articles in the Courier and ther has been letters to both the HBT and the Courier. What does the practice have to do? Make a television appeal to all their service users urging them not to use the car park unless on a visit to the Medical Centre?

A ticketing system that provides free parking and yet generates enough revenue to pay for itself? That is indeed a remarkable concept, however it is also one which I am unable to reconcile. Perhaps this is one from the Hogwarts school of economics.

Again, simply because something is a resource paid for out of public funds does not make it public property. And rest assured that unequivocal support for the practice reaches much higher in the NHS than is being suggest here, only someone with the most maverick disregard for self-preservation would make such decisions without the explicit support and approval of their superiors.

The question remains, where was the outcry when service users were unable to use the medical centre? Where was the "compassion" then eh? Poor, disorientated ill people having to walk vast distances to the MC because selfish traders and shoppers and commuters had taken all the spaces in the car park?

Of course the MC has the right to act unilaterally to protect the rights of their service users, they have no wider obligation in this matter. Not legislatively, or ethically.


Posted by Adam
Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Here here,Graham Barker. Thats the most sense thats been writenon the subject so far. I would like add further though. Why shouldthe car park have a redeamable fee? if you travel to most NHS hospitals now,you have to pay for the privllage to park. i say" lets make some money for the local trust" i think they are far more needy than dumb and dumber that patrol the car park waiting to collect £75 for their own coffers


Posted by Anne
Tuesday, 20 February 2007

I'd just like to point out that if you visit the doctor's surgery or any of the pharmacies, opticians or dentists in Hebden Bridge you are most likely to have to pay to park, or will only be able to stay for an hour - or less - before getting a ticket, and you probably won't be able to find a spot anywhere near where you need to be (in fact not even the staff at these places can park close by). The chances of finding a disabled parking space close to any one of these medical facilities are very slim.

By comparison with Hebden, the medical centre in Mytholmroyd looks after its service users' extremely well. It's up to the council, not the medical centre, to provide parking for shoppers, traders, etc. either paid or unpaid. As they are not doing so, then it looks like these people will have to find parking spaces in the nearby streets, the community centre, or wherever they used to park before the medical centre was built.

There are obviously one or two people who have been wrongly clamped (like the lady who was told to go and have a cup of tea after a blood test). But it seems they have not actually complained to the medical centre - see news item on the HebWeb - I think if they did so in a polite and reasonable way, then they would probably be listened to and hopefully appropriate action would be taken.


Posted by Kathy
Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Several people in this thread have said that patients wrongly clamped will be freed if they approach the Medical Centre, but this is not so.

The letter from the Practice Manager dated 15/2/07 states:

"The appeals process is with Car Stoppers and is entirely outside the scope of our responsibilities.

Cars clamped in error are and have been unclamped upon proof of attending the surgery."

Several patients have complained they were not unclamped even when offering the clampers this proof.

Patients visiting the dentist, optician and chemist need to know what they have to do too. The clampers need very clear instructions too.

And if patients must not go to any other shops near the complex before or after an appointment they need a clear message that this is the case.


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Tuesday, 20 February 2007

The signage is explicitly clear about the terms governing the use of the car park. For those who have missed it, it says:

"WARNING! This car par is for use only whilst attending Grange Dean Medical Complex.

For all other users clamping in operation Monday To Firday From 7.30am - 6.30pm"

The phrase "only whilst attending" tells everyone all they need to know.


Posted by Lou
Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Shall the rest of us all scream at once?

One, two, three, Eeeeaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!


Posted by Tom Standfield
Monday, 19 February 2007

Johnny, I might be coming round to your way of thinking. I mean it's there in black and white. A £75 clamping fee is a bit soft. Why don't we completely ban them from the car park if they can't be bothered to read the signs and follow the rules. Maybe ban them from the Health Centre too as such people are unlikely to be the kind of genuine customer Grange Dene really wants to attract, are they? Realistically, clamping's not the best answer. As soon as they are unclamped, they will just park illegally somewhere else. I know these kind of people. Let's take their cars straight to the scrap-heap. Then they won't cause any more problems. Anyway, the kind of cars that get clamped should never be allowed in the centre of Mytholmroyd.

While I am at it, those greedy shop-keepers should stop whingeing. Times change. They're trying to hold back progress. Don't they already make a fortune out of us? They should realise just what a privilege it is being allowed to trade so near the Grange Dene. We should double their rates because of all the extra business the Centre brings them. Better still, close them down and turn them into much needed apartments. We don't really need smalll shops cluttering up a small place like Mytholmroyd, do we Johnny?


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Thursday, 22 February 2007

Do I detect a little sarcasm there?

The provision of parking for traders and shoppers is the direct responsibility of the local authority, not the Medical Centre. This is completely and utterly the undeniable truth of the matter. And this is an entirely separate issue to that of genuine service users (not cusotmers) being clamped.

Traders and shoppers can whinge til they are blue in the face, but to the local authority, not the MC, who have been generous enough to provide free parking for such a long time despite not being obligated to in any way, shape or form. And without any kind of recognition or gratitude.


Posted by Kathy
Thursday, 22 February 2007

Johnny - When I said we needed everything clarifying - I didn't mean by you - I meant by the Medical Centre.

Struth.


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Thursday, 22 February 2007

I pointed out how clear it already is. I did not clarify anything on behalf of the Medical Centre. That said, if you wanted the MC to clarify it for yourself and others, why post your request for clarification where it is clearly not going to elicit a response from the MC?


Posted by John Morrison
Thursday, 22 February 2007

As everybody knows, ‘Virginia Bottomley’ is an anagram of ‘I’m an evil Tory bigot’. In the same vein, ‘Johnny Marascalco’ becomes ‘Lay on car scam, John’. Say no more...


Posted by Ian
Thursday, 22 February 2007

Johnny,
I have followed the course of this thread and have finaly been driven to reply to your posts on this matter.
I couldn't agree with you more. Its refreshing to see some common sense being applied in this discussion.

It's a fact the car park is for the use of visitors to the medical centre and no one else. The rules of car park are clearfor all to see(In fact they are some of the largest warning signs I have seen.)

Nothing underhand is being done here - the only people to blame for being clamped are those who feel that they have a right (by default) to park there for free because they always have done. People; follow the rules its that simple.

I have to ask the question, if there is anyone who lives within walking distance of the shops near the car park, why, if the community means so much to you, have you not allowed people to park in your driveways whilst they do their shopping - the principle is the same.


Posted by Jane
Thursday, 22 February 2007

Ian,someone else has had the same idea:
See this BBC news item


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Thursday, 22 February 2007

Thank you Ian, I appreciate your speaking up in support of my point of view.

I would be only too glad to admit I was wrong if only someone could address the points and questions I have put forward and incontestably discount them in a reasonable way.

As yet, there has been little more than ill-conceived rhetoric and derisory comments about me personally.


Posted by Cllr. John Beacroft-Mitchell
Thursday, 22 February 2007

I have sent a response to the Hebden Bridge Group Practice's letter recently referred to in the news section of this website:

Whilst I accept that the primary responsibility of the practice is to it's patients, since the introduction of the clamping regime at the Grange Dene Medical Centre I have received a number of complaints from both traders and patients over the lack of flexibility from the clampers, in particular their reluctance to accept that some patients may also wish to use the other businesses in the area.

In one case an elderly gentleman with mobility issues paid to park in the Community Centre carpark whilst attending Grange Dene rather than risk being clamped, as he also wanted to visit the hardware store after his doctor's appointment, this cannot be the intention of the parking restrictions.

I understand from your letter that there is no financial agreement with the clampers and the clamping appeals process is entirely outside the scope of your responsibilities. As you do not pay the clampers a retainer I can only assume that the clampers have no incentive to give the benefit of the doubt to a patient shopping locally and will always clamp first and ask questions later. This will clearly disadvantage vulnerable patients who are not equipped to handle such a confrontation.

Although the Practice may subcontract its parking enforcement to a company which has the dubious honour of being the RAC's worst clamping firm, I do not believe it is productive or helpful for the Practice to attempt to shrug off the damage that this is doing to community relations or it's own image.

Your letter also suggests that the restrictions should have no impact on the traders as the car parking facilities were not available before. However you must be aware that if a person has parked to use the medical centre, if they are then forced to move their car before visiting the shops they are more likely to do all of their shopping elsewhere, rather than re-park and retrace their steps.

I am in no way suggesting a return to the "free for all" which caused problems for those patients living further afield. However some latitude in the parking restrictions and some assistance in directing drivers to alternate parking would go a long way to resolving this issue.

I would welcome a further meeting with yourselves to discuss these matters.


Posted by Ian
Friday, 23 February 2007

I think it should be noted that a car park of this nature is a high turnover facility. For example, if an average appointment is ten minutes and there are 5 Doctors working at the practice then a minimum of thirty people an hour will be attending the centre. All it would take is for a small number of parking spaces to be blocked for an hour by someone "visiting" the local stores and then the car park becomes unusable by patients.

I also find it laughable that a local Councilor is suggesting that the Medical Centre should be responsible for directing drivers to alternative parking. That is the council’s responsibility - either provide alternative parking or signage and stop berating the medical centre for looking after the interests of its patients.

Finally, I would like to offer a solution - If the stores whose customers are suffering feel so strongly about all of this, why not approach the medical centre with a view to leasing the couple of parking spaces nearest to your shops.


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Thursday, 22 February 2007

Exactly Ian!

It utterly astounds me that councillors are lobbying the Medical Centre on this matter, since it is their negligent lack of foresight in town planning that is ultimately the root cause of this controversy. The hypocrisy is truly sickening.

I noticed a letter regarding this matter in the HBT yesterday. Someone publicly declaring that they would never shop or use the services offered in Mytholmroyd ever, ever again, and would encourage their friends and family to do the same. Surely this qualifies as a perfect esample of the idiom "cutting off one's nose to spite one's face".

Posted by Ian
Thursday, 22 February 2007

Johnny,
I have followed the course of this thread and have finaly been driven to reply to your posts on this matter.
I couldn't agree with you more. Its refreshing to see some common sense being applied in this discussion.

It's a fact the car park is for the use of visitors to the medical centre and no one else. The rules of car park are clearfor all to see(In fact they are some of the largest warning signs I have seen.)

Nothing underhand is being done here - the only people to blame for being clamped are those who feel that they have a right (by default) to park there for free because they always have done. People; follow the rules its that simple.

I have to ask the question, if there is anyone who lives within walking distance of the shops near the car park, why, if the community means so much to you, have you not allowed people to park in your driveways whilst they do their shopping - the principle is the same.


Posted by Jane
Thursday, 22 February 2007

Ian,someone else has had the same idea:
See this BBC news item


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Thursday, 22 February 2007

Thank you Ian, I appreciate your speaking up in support of my point of view.

I would be only too glad to admit I was wrong if only someone could address the points and questions I have put forward and incontestably discount them in a reasonable way.

As yet, there has been little more than ill-conceived rhetoric and derisory comments about me personally.


Posted by Cllr. John Beacroft-Mitchell
Thursday, 22 February 2007

I have sent a response to the Hebden Bridge Group Practice's letter recently referred to in the news section of this website:

Whilst I accept that the primary responsibility of the practice is to it's patients, since the introduction of the clamping regime at the Grange Dene Medical Centre I have received a number of complaints from both traders and patients over the lack of flexibility from the clampers, in particular their reluctance to accept that some patients may also wish to use the other businesses in the area.

In one case an elderly gentleman with mobility issues paid to park in the Community Centre carpark whilst attending Grange Dene rather than risk being clamped, as he also wanted to visit the hardware store after his doctor's appointment, this cannot be the intention of the parking restrictions.

I understand from your letter that there is no financial agreement with the clampers and the clamping appeals process is entirely outside the scope of your responsibilities. As you do not pay the clampers a retainer I can only assume that the clampers have no incentive to give the benefit of the doubt to a patient shopping locally and will always clamp first and ask questions later. This will clearly disadvantage vulnerable patients who are not equipped to handle such a confrontation.

Although the Practice may subcontract its parking enforcement to a company which has the dubious honour of being the RAC's worst clamping firm, I do not believe it is productive or helpful for the Practice to attempt to shrug off the damage that this is doing to community relations or it's own image.

Your letter also suggests that the restrictions should have no impact on the traders as the car parking facilities were not available before. However you must be aware that if a person has parked to use the medical centre, if they are then forced to move their car before visiting the shops they are more likely to do all of their shopping elsewhere, rather than re-park and retrace their steps.

I am in no way suggesting a return to the "free for all" which caused problems for those patients living further afield. However some latitude in the parking restrictions and some assistance in directing drivers to alternate parking would go a long way to resolving this issue.

I would welcome a further meeting with yourselves to discuss these matters.


Posted by Ian
Friday, 23 February 2007

I think it should be noted that a car park of this nature is a high turnover facility. For example, if an average appointment is ten minutes and there are 5 Doctors working at the practice then a minimum of thirty people an hour will be attending the centre. All it would take is for a small number of parking spaces to be blocked for an hour by someone "visiting" the local stores and then the car park becomes unusable by patients.

I also find it laughable that a local Councilor is suggesting that the Medical Centre should be responsible for directing drivers to alternative parking. That is the council’s responsibility - either provide alternative parking or signage and stop berating the medical centre for looking after the interests of its patients.

Finally, I would like to offer a solution - If the stores whose customers are suffering feel so strongly about all of this, why not approach the medical centre with a view to leasing the couple of parking spaces nearest to your shops.


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Friday, 23 February 2007

Exactly Ian!

It utterly astounds me that councillors are lobbying the Medical Centre on this matter, since it is their negligent lack of foresight in town planning that is ultimately the root cause of this controversy. The hypocrisy is truly sickening.

I noticed a letter regarding this matter in the HBT yesterday. Someone publicly declaring that they would never shop or use the services offered in Mytholmroyd ever, ever again, and would encourage their friends and family to do the same. Surely this qualifies as a perfect esample of the idiom "cutting off one's nose to spite one's face".


Posted by Carl
Friday, 23 February 2007

Johnny, Ian. I have to say I do agree with your opinions about this matter. I do think though the clamping system should have been implemented as soon as the new medical centre opened.

When the plans were due to be submited there were serveral public meetings and one in particular stands out in my mind. It was at the Good Shepherd in Mytholmroyd. It was attended by several doctors and representatives of the owners of the site, namely Setbray properties. When asked about the parking situation the reply was: The car park will have sixty two spaces and will benefit the whole of the village.

The problems started when commuters who couldn't park at the stations in Hebden Bridge or Mytholmroyd found this wonderfull new, safe car park, totally free! I feel it is these people who abused the Doctors' goodwill that have caused the current situation. Maybe, if it wasn't for these people we would still have nice quiet village without nasty undercurrents. And we could be talking about more constuctive things on these pages.


Posted by Kathy
Friday, 23 February 2007

Ian said

"I also find it laughable that a local Councilor is suggesting that the Medical Centre should be responsible for directing drivers to alternative parking. That is the council’s responsibility - either provide alternative parking or signage and stop berating the medical centre for looking after the interests of its patients."

I think you will find Ian that a lot of us trying to raise awareness here (and I include the traders in this because they are getting the stories being so close to the centre) are doing so on behalf of "patients" who have been clamped. There is nothing laughable about what is happening here. This isn't about free parking - it is about the brutal and inflexible way patients are being treated, brought about, in the main, by lack of information and the opportunist activities of the clampers.

And under those circumstances it is perfectly proper that our local councillors become involved.

And the questions people are perplexed by and want answers to, are:

  • Why use this particular clamping firm?Why were we not consulted or warned it was going to happen?
  • Why were we not consulted or warned it was going to happen?
  • Why are our doctors collectively allowing this to happen to us?

Note: "Patients" is the buzz word - not traders, not drivers, not tubthumpers, not shoppers - "patients"

I agree with Lou who said "but I do believe they have caused more upset amongst their own patients who are using the car park and still getting clamped."


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Friday, 23 February 2007

To answer your questions...

"Why use this particular clamping firm?Why were we not consulted or warned it was going to happen?"

Why not? They may have a bad reputation and be inflexible but it is there job to enforce the rules governing the car park, not to interpret them according whichever excuse they get. As far as I am aware they have yet to clamp anyone who was using the car park exclusively to visit the MC, which is it's purpose, and which is very very clearly stated on the signage. If there have been genuine patients clamped while using the carp park to exclusively visit the MC, then I would bet my bottom dollar that they could be counted on the fingers of one hand. A minute percentage of the suggested 18,000 patients, and I am certain an appeal would see there fine refunded.

The practice is under no obligation to consult with the public, or it's patients, since this measure is designed to preserve the patients' interests ie. available parking spaces. And anyway does it even matter now? It is done. History. Over.

Do you also expect the Council to consult with and inform everyone individually when they paint some new double yellow lines on the road? It is the responsibility of the individual to avoid gettting a parking ticket or being clamped.

"Why are our doctors collectively allowing this to happen to us?"

What nonsense. The doctors are not responsible for the behaviour of people using the car park. This is like suggesting that because you have an accident with another vehicle due to your running a red light, that the other driver be held responsible for allowing it to happen.

And Kathy, please try to recognise that there are traders and shoppers who are making complaints motivated by their own interests. All you have to do is read the opening post on this thread, and on the initial thread. Traders and shopppers were the priority before "shopping patients" begun to be clamped, and there is no mention of patients whatsoever in the initial post.


Posted by Kathy
Sunday, 25 February 2007

Hi people

I've been asked if anyone knows if the clampers have actually refunded any money to people who consider themselves clamped wrongly.

If you want to reply privately you can do so in an e-mail to: mytholmroyd@3-c.coop

You can also send any clamping stories there and I will gather them up as we go along.

Some useful links below.

Calderdale NHS Primary Trust - Compliments and Complaints:http://www.calderdale-pct.nhs.uk/?id=90

Citizens Advice guide on clamping:
http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/em/t_wheel-clamping_on_private_land.pdf

Extract below:
The new guidance is available at www.adviceguide.org.uk (external link) in the fact-sheet section under travel.  It sets out in easy to understand language the rules surrounding wheel-clamping on private land, explaining in which circumstances a car is likely to become clamped and when your car must not be clamped.

Another section deals with what people should do if they get their car clamped whilst parking on private land and what to do if their vehicle is towed away. Also included is advice on how you can check to see if a wheel-clamper is licensed and how to report them if they are not.

Some important facts to know about wheel-clamping are:

  • You may be clamped if you have parked across two spaces instead of one, or you have parked dangerously, or blocked an emergency access.
  • In order for you to be legally clamped, there must be notices up where you can clearly see them, warning that unauthorised vehicles will be clamped.
  • You must not be clamped if your vehicle displays a valid disabled badge.

PDNFTT

TTFN


Posted by Vivien
Sunday, 25 February 2007

Reading through the months of electronic and other controversy, there is really nothing to add to the issues and various viewpoints have been clearly expressed.

The bare facts in summary are that a group of independently contracted health care providers accountable importantly on a clinical basis but on no other, have exercised their legal right to stop people parking on their rented space unless these people are using health facilities, and only health facilities, in the most confrontational way possible.

They have used a company renowned for their distinctive methods of "just doing their job", and many people, including many patients, local traders, people who have been unreasonably clamped and me, are very upset. Even the local pharmacist has lost trade in sales of goods other than prescription medicines.

I should add that I have never been clamped but know people who have been unfairly clamped despite being patients of the practice.

To complete the picture, some people think the practice is justified in barring all except patients actually accessing the surgery from parking, and others disagree, their views coloured partly by the confrontational methodology.

It seems to me that the only compromise is a barrier system with tokens issued by the surgery, pharmacy and dental practice, differently conformed for each day to prevent the creation of some sort of currency. I suspect this was considered and rejected on grounds of cost and that the value of goodwill is zero-rated by the practice.

The fact is that there is no way of legally forcing the practice to change their minds. However, adverse publicity at national level might shame them into some display of public spirit. We should not waste time with the BMA or the PCT - the doctors are not accountable to anybody other than for their clinical performance and maybe their use of public money.

I have worked with GPs as a manager for over 30 years so trust me - I'm not a doctor! The BBC might be interested, as are local politicians who as our representatives have a duty, which some are discharging, to advance the opinions of the majority of the people who elected them and get something done - soon.

Which brings me to my final point. The main effect of the contribution of him of mysterious identity is to play in the doctors' reasoning, consume time and have a bit of a laugh at us - doesn't that tell us something of who he or she is?


Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Monday, 26 February 2007

The paranoic assumption that I have any kind of vested interest here is absurd. This is merely an attempt to invalidate my argument indirectly. I am not the only one posting on this forum to have this point of view.

There is no need for a barrier system of any kind. And (I cannot believe I am having to say this yet again) why should the practice front the considerable cost of installing this system, and the ongoing costs of maintaining and servicing it? Irrespective of this, why should a visitor to the surgery, pharmacy or dental practice need this? Users of the car park for these purposes alone have no fear of being clamped whatsoever.

And as far as the request to encourage contributions from "people who consider themselves clamped wrongly" is concerned, this is so subjective that it completely invalidates the exercise.

Given the authentic facts and an understanding of the self-interested motivation of many complainants, this appears more like community bullying than community activism.


Posted by Lou
Tuesday, 27 February 2007

OK - so another scenario as an alternative to parking either in the Community Centre car park or the Health Centre car park.

There is a largish parking area at the top of the hill in front of Hair World. Does that area belong to the owners of Hair World and/or the other businesses up there, or is it open parking for anyone?


Posted by Anne
Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Lou - thought I'd better point out that clamping has been in operation outside Hairworld for quite a long time. I'm not sure how many - if any - cars have actually been clamped but the warning notice has been there for ages. These businesses, like others (and I suppose the medical centre) reserve the right to keep those spaces for their own customers. I still think it's up to the council to provide parking if there is a real need (and if it's worth their while setting up pay-and-display). In this respect, I think Mytholmroyd suffers from being a big village rather than a small town. Most villagers don't drive to their village shops. Most towns would have enough shops and facilities to merit a public car park.

 


See also