There should be zero tolerance for those to break ‘lesser’ rules about comunal bins, parking etc, writes Gavin Barrie.
A few days ago, I caught a tweet from the city council stating “If you park your car in front of a communal bin then we can’t empty it and it can overflow and cause litter and flytipping! Please park considerately.”
My view on this signs was that it was far too polite.
The message should be “zero tolerance of this selfish act and the council will seek to have obstructing vehicles lifted and the appropriate charges made against the driver to release the vehicle”.
From a quick scan down various Twitter feeds, it would appear I am not the only one that would like to see a bit more enforcement on this, and a few other issues.
I am also pleased to note the message on blocking bins has now been toughened, warning people of fines and being towed away.
Via Twitter, by email, Facebook and Whatsapp, I also have online conversations with some who work in the taxi trade.
They have major gripes about issues that effect their business, a significant one being people parking in taxi ranks, apparently without sanction.
Another is private hire vehicles picking up off the street when they haven’t been pre-booked.
This might not sound that serious to some, but the reality is this invalidates their insurance, and as such a hefty fine and points on their license can be the outcome. But this can only happen if they are caught.
There is also the further danger of unscrupulous individuals trying to pick up people using completely unlicensed vehicles, pretending to the unsuspecting and perhaps vulnerable customer that they are private hire vehicles.
Another matter regularly raised with me is people parking in residents’ bays, perhaps not for the whole day, but just chancing their arm for the last hour before the restrictions come off.
Of course, this is very likely to be the hour that the residents are arriving home to find all their permit paid for bays already occupied.
Double parking, parking in front of kerbs that have been dropped to aid those with mobility problems and the apparently never-ending problem of parking on pavements are all issues that can be enforced, but only if there are people on the street with the powers to do this.
And getting back to bins, those that use vehicles to take their rubbish to communal street bins when they don’t live in the area are another source of grief for local residents.
This one needs the local community to be observant and report it, given that it is unrealistic to have enforcement officers trying to catch people on the off-chance.
In a city such as Edinburgh, it will always be a challenge to enforce all the regulation that people, regardless of their walk of life, should abide by. But the reality for me is that if you don’t enforce the perhaps lesser rules then the proverbial “give an inch, and they’ll take a mile” tends to be the way things go.
Those that take that mile can blight communities and make the lives of other law-abiding citizens who recognise rules and regulations extremely unhappy.
I believe that between Police Scotland, traffic wardens and council officers, it is time to take a much wider proactive approach to enforcement. In the long term, it should help enhance all our lives.
Gavin Barrie is an independent councillor for Inverleith