Monday, 22 March 2010

CLAMPING IN LIDO AND DREAMLAND - A SEASIDE RIP-OFF?

Some readers may have spotted the item on BBC South East today about the chap camping in his clamped car on The Lido Car Park, Clifftonville,  to stop Barry Dawson and his team at Clamp Down Security Services (CSS) moving the car and upping the bill the poor beggar could not pay, let alone the £120 to get the clamp off.

A 'Strife' member popped down to do a 'soup run' at 7.30pm to talk and take pics and discovered the car empty of its owner but still clamped. Will Barry Dawson move it over-night?

Readers might be familiar with Your Thanet highlighting problems at Dreamland a few weeks ago with most parking ticket machines wrapped up in bin-liners and apparently out of service and hapless victims, unable to find an obscurely located ticket machine,  being clamped within minutes.CSS at the time was working under direction of Probe Security (of ex-Conservative Cllrs' Broadhurst and Watt-Ruffell association) but it would now seem that CSS is now working directly under Jimmy Godden and his site manager Barry Moss at Dreamland as Probe has been given the 'heave-ho' off  the Dreamland site, with odd rumours flying around Thanet ever since.

Strife is aware that many visitors who parked at The Lido on the evening of The Lost Prophets gig at Winter Gardens some weeks back, thinking the Lido Car park was 'concert parking', found themselves clamped and quickly out of pocket. We have reports that 12 cars were clamped and over £1,400 was paid out to get cars released. Some visitors said they would never return to Margate as they were convinced they had been ripped -off  as 'innocents abroad' in down at heel Margate.

I am sure CSS and Barry Dawson are operating correctly and  I hope TDC Trading Standards are ensuring that this is so, but you do have to have your eyes peeled to spot the signs (pictured below) in The Lido car-park. However,  what concerns me most, is the damage that this 'Clamping business' is doing to putting off visitors from returning to Margate.

There are many who hold the view, rightly or wrongly, that 'clamping' has a dubious aspect to it and that calls for clarification and tightening of regulations regarding clamping are becoming more frequent to our Parliament. Rather than worrying about fox-hunting, isn't this an issue that Gale,Sandys, Ladyman et al could be looking at?

At the local level, 'Mauwice' or his successor, need to consider that visitors paying £2.20 for their latte and £120 for their car to be 'un-clamped' might regard their tax-payer subsidised visit to the TC to see Tracy's dirty linen or a 'walking art' performance as money badly spent and that Margate's growing reputation as a 'clamper's den' puts them and many others off from ever visiting , let alone returning.

14 comments:

DrM. said...

Bertie
This is now resolved between Mr Dawson, the clamper and Mrs Rossiter, whose car it is. I watched the same report on BBC SE News and intervened this evening.

While I recognise that one should properly pay 30 pence to park one's car in a private car park as advertised, I also believe this 'clamping' behaviour, preying on motorists who are often among the poorest and deprived members of our society is quite wrong from a simple moral perspective.

This is really a matter for central government, any government to deal with but quite how we deal with the problem of clamping legally on private property I don't know until politicians at a higher level come to grips with the problem.

Anonymous said...

Also heard tales of it happening in the KFC car park in Broadstairs?

Bertie Biggles said...

That is excellent news, Cllr Moores. Well done!

Peter Checksfield said...

I didn't realise that The Lost Prophets did a gig at Dreamland in addition to The Winter Gardens... ; )

Anonymous said...

Parking is at a premium nearby on big nights for the Winter Gardens. Couldn't the owners of private car parks (normally empty at night) be asked to let them be used at a suitable fee? I thinking of Aldi and the Lido, entering into partnership with Thanet Leisure Force. With suitable yellow 'concert parking' signage. If people are getting clamped, they may decide to go to another venue next time, so it should be in everyone's best interests to work together.

Bertie Biggles said...

Thanks, Peter! Have amended.It was your Winter gardens of course!

Anonymous said...

The KFC site near ASDA in Broadstairs, before it was engulfed in flames, did have signs clearly indicating parkers would be clamped although there were no machines as the site was intended for dining customers (if you could describe those buying bargain buckets as 'diners')

Bit different to sites where the signs are barely visible or machines are out of sight.

Anonymous said...

Resolved in what way? Did the Good Doctor pay the clamping fee? Did CSS wave all charges? Did Mrs. Rossiter pitch up with the readies?
If I get clamped by CSS can I ring up Dr. M. and get him to bail me out?

I think we should be told.

The Lido, I think, is owned by the company that went into liquidation some time ago or was it sold to another firm? That question is just for personal interest as I assume CSS has an agreement with the current owner.

Anonymous said...

22.59 those out to make a fast buck in Thanet only have their own interests in mind and could not give a fig about everyone else.

Anyone involved in these clamping episodes- land owners, security companies, clampers themselves are looking after one thing - money.

Bertie Biggles said...

08:18, I was told earlier today that the late BBC South East bulletin last night, reported that the fee had been paid for by a Cllr. You may wish to note that Dr M at 22:12 just stated the matter had been resolved.

I feel that such quick action by Cllr Moores is much to his credit in personal terms regarding an act of instant charity to those in need and perhaps you should recognise that?

The other good to come of this is that a story that does not reflect well on Margate and Thanet, has been nipped in the bud before appearing on more news bulletins or in The Sun.

Perhaps we should recognise that too and that fast moving Cllrs acting on an individual's behalf or for the common good should be appreciated, whatever their political views.

Anonymous said...

anon again!
If it is 'Private Property' it should have locked secure gates, otherwise the owners 'non-commitally' allow Parkers to park there. Signs are insufficient and rascist, if only painted in English. There are many Immigrants in the area who cannot read these signs.

William said...

"At the local level, 'Mauwice' or his successor, need to consider that visitors paying £2.20 for their latte and £120 for their car to be 'un-clamped' might regard their tax-payer subsidised visit to the TC to see Tracy's dirty linen or a 'walking art' performance as money badly spent and that Margate's growing reputation as a 'clamper's den' puts them and many others off from ever visiting , let alone returning."

Well, as one of those latte drinkers you're talking about who came to visit your beautiful town, (cappuccino drinker actually, and not even a subsidised one) just having been clamped at Dreamland does indeed make me think that Margate is a rip off town and makes me wonder about ever coming back. Whether what Barry Dawson is doing is legal or not, it's a disgrace and congratulations to sites like yours that are working to expose this unpleasant business. Margate's never going to be on the up as long as people like that are around.

Anonymous said...

We had just finished a charity walk from hernebay to Cliftonville raising money to send a terminally ill little girl to disney land paris before she gets too ill, my dad picked our car up from hernebay and parked it up in the lido carpark, he got out the car walked down to where we were to let us know he had arrived and 2 minutes later when he went back to the car they were already clamping it, we explained that my dad was just picking us up after the walk but they didn`t care and we had to pay £120 to get the car unclamped so we could get home back to Derbyshire. To make matters worse this was on a sunday when there was only about 3 other cars in the carpark. I hope they can live with themselves. I have since been told that an unmarked car parks in the carpark and as soon as you leave your car and don`t head towards the ticket machine, the chap phones a guy in a van who comes straight down and clamps you. And they want people to start coming back to Margate and they treat them like that, I feel a parking ticket would be fairer.

Anonymous said...

To answer the question below, The lido is in the hands of administrators so I asume that includes the carpark

Anonymous said...
22.59 those out to make a fast buck in Thanet only have their own interests in mind and could not give a fig about everyone else.

Anyone involved in these clamping episodes- land owners, security companies, clampers themselves are looking after one thing - money.

23 March 2010 08:25