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I did think, after spending a considerable amount of time putting together 'Mixed Messages Yet Again for Zone K1 Residents' (see link, right) that my role as Parking Correspondent and clarification vehicle for Ealing Parking Services could be given a rest at least for a while.

But I wasn't banking on a letter to K1 residents which left them unsure whether to believe the statement I had published from an 'Ealing Council Spokesman' (which said, amongst other things, that "Permits for both zones K and K1 will continue to be valid in both CPZs".)

My efforts to tell worried residents that the ambiguous sentence in the letter, dated January 26th ("Your current Zone K permit will continue to be accepted in both Zones K and K1, but when your permit is due for renewal you will be issued with a permit just for Zone K1.") must be a mistake were not working. The emails and phonecalls were escalating.

Not only that, but my previous Parking Correspondent item had said "It is hoped that those of us who have only been paying £25 will not be sent an unexpected windfall..."

An unexpected windfall is exactly what landed on the doormat of Sara Nathan and her husband yesterday.

So I wrote an indignant (possibly quite a polite word for it) letter to Ealing Council Parking Services cataloguing their inadequacies in full.

They have promised me they will "respond fully as quickly as possible" but in the mean time, anyone who needs it is welcome to the following words which come directly from Ealing Parking Services at 1:30pm today:

"I would like to clarify that zone K1 permit holders can and will be able to park within zone K. Zone K permit holders can also park in both zones."

These words come from the same pen, computer terminal or whatever as the author of the letter of January 26th which caused the latest flurry of anxiety.

I would also like to point out that we, as Council Tax payers, are normally consulted when parking zones are drawn up, and that we are also consulted (as we indeed were when the regulations were changed for the creation of the new Zone K1) when any changes are made to existing parking zones.

It would be a big surprise to me - and probably of interest even to residents who live outside Zone K1, not to mention some local government ombudsman or similar - if Ealing Council changed the rules without consulting us residents who pay our Council Tax and who vote them in and out of office.

So in the light of this I've decided to give myself a new job title - two in one week can't be bad.

Clare Gittins
Parking Agony Aunt

January 28, 2010