Police called as Croydon councillor Phil Thomas gets involved in blue badge parking row outside Bernard Weatherill House

Councillor Phil Thomas says the woman verbally abused the parking attendant

Councillor Phil Thomas says the woman verbally abused the parking attendant

First published in News Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

Politicians usually restrict their arguing to inside the town hall but one councillor found himself caught up in a row on the street over a woman’s blue badge.

Councillor Phil Thomas, who is in charge of parking for Croydon Council, was outside Bernard Weatherill House when he noticed a car parked on the double yellow lines.

The person inside the vehicle was refusing to show a parking attendant the blue badge which was on display and instead phoned her mother to come and sort out the situation.

When her mum, who had been inside the council building sorting out housing benefit, came out the row flared up.

Coun Thomas said: "Her daughter was there with her and she was abusive and then the woman was being abusive.

"The guy who was checking the badge was Asian and they verbally assaulted him so I asked the wardens to ring the police.

"It all blew up and there was all this commotion and she was abusive to the Asian traffic warden.

"I could not believe the abuse he got.

"She has had a letter from the council warning her about her conduct."

But the blue badge holder’s version of events is very different.

She said she was targeted because coun Thomas did not believe she was entitled to the badge as she looked young and healthy - someting coun Thomas denies.

The woman, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 and is waiting for a hip operation, said: "I’m 45 but I look about 25 and why did he feel the need to create such a big scene and make the guys call the police?

"They were wasting police time.

"The police said it was not a matter for them to deal with and so the council were left looking like idiots out there."

She is planning to write a letter of complaint to the council’s interim chief executive Nathan Elvery about the incident.

Coun Thomas added: "In Croydon we have a firm and fair parking policy.

"People should not abuse our staff who just have a job to do and have families to go home to and are working to put food on the table."

Comments (1)

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1:56pm Thu 17 Apr 14

mr-bjp says...

The parking attendant was probably asking to see the blue badge to compare the photo on the reverse with the person sitiing in the car. Anyway, the blue badge is not issued for the disabled person to stay in the parked car whilst someone else goes about their business.
The parking attendant was probably asking to see the blue badge to compare the photo on the reverse with the person sitiing in the car. Anyway, the blue badge is not issued for the disabled person to stay in the parked car whilst someone else goes about their business. mr-bjp
  • Score: 6

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