17 August 2011

Where did they bury the survivors ?

Mr Mustard remembers one of those word puzzles that adults used to ask you when you were about 11 - the questions that you knew were tricks and yet you still fell for them. Like this one :-

A small plane crash lands on a desert island and kills the crew and 12 passengers. Where did they bury the survivors? 

If you don't get it please post your problem in the comments section.

Now Barnet Council has one about how you lent them £30 and so if you lend them another £30 you will be square!

Look at this document which Mr Mustard found on the Barnet Council website here.

click to enlarge and then back to return

Did you read that right? Yes Mr Mustard is afraid that you did.

Let us look at the scenario. You go to visit an old friend who lives inside a CPZ zone. You arrive in their road. It is full. You need to collect a Visitor Voucher from them as you always follow the rules as you are a typical middle class middle aged person. You cannot stop anywhere near your friend's house as all the spaces are taken so to collect the Visitor Voucher you would have to :

park across a dropped kerb ( an offence )
stop on a single yellow line ( another offence )
stop on a double yellow line ( another offence )

so you drive round the corner into the next road and park. You walk back slowly with the box of groceries you had picked up for your old friend who can't get out much. Your friend is organised and has got a Visitor Voucher ready for you with the day, date and time correctly scratched out. You walk back to you car. Between 5 and 10 minutes has passed. What is this on your car in a yellow plastic envelope but a Penalty Charge Notice. 

You ring the parking line, it takes you 20 minutes to get through and to your surprise you are told that the penalty can be lowered from a maximum £100 to £30 if you act quickly. You don't understand, your friend paid out their hard earned £4 from their pension and that won't be refunded and you are to be penalised when you have done nothing wrong except to have the misfortune to arrive at the same time as the traffic warden ( civil enforcement officer ).

Barnet Council claim to be "Putting the community first".


You are disgusting money-grabbing charlatans and should be ashamed of yourselves.


The answer is to appeal your parking ticket. There will be technical grounds as well as the quite reasonable grounds that there will always be a few minutes between parking your car and being able to place the voucher on the dashboard. There is a duty on the Council to act fairly in their operation of CPZ's. Is this fair? Hardly.

Listen everyone. Appeal every ticket issued. That will be 100,000 emails that the council have to deal with every year. They will soon stop issuing tickets and any appeals that do not get responded to within 6 weeks lead to the automatic cancellation of the ticket.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard


  1. I see that "Civil Enforcement Officer's do not make this decision".

    A greegrocer's apostrophe, presumably.

    It is presumably worthwhile having a spare visitor voucher, ready to scratch out, and send off for your "discount". Nobody need pay £100 ever again.

  2. Barnet does seem to have a problem with apostrophes. See: http://www.verbumsapienti.org.uk/2010/11/barnet-councils-grammar-blunder.html

  3. I think apostrophe abuse is near the bottom of my concerns about Barnet, although it does show a certain slipshod attitude to detail.

  4. It is indicative of a certain lack of schooling and when the same people are playing with £900m it does make one worry.

    Please tell us Jaybird the top 3 concerns on your list.


I now moderate comments in the light of the Delfi case. Due to the current high incidence of spam I have had to turn word verification on.