Infamy, Infamy, They’ve All Got It In For Me. (Especially Milton Keynes Council).

23 09 2009

I received the ultimate accolade today, a visit from, wait for it, it’s a goody this title, The Enforcement Officer, Richard Proctor, the ‘hard man’ of Milton Keynes Council.

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My ‘crime’, apparently, is advertising my business. Without permission from the nanny state! Ooer missus.

Richard turned up unannounced, presumably fearful that advance notice of his sortie into enemy territory would cause me to flee the country or plant anti-personnel mines on the pavement. Actually, that’s not a bad idea. Richard, I’m kidding.

Anyway, I would have thought a phone call would have done the trick but no, these are ‘serious matters’ and must be dealt with ‘seriously’, in person, despite the expense, and of course, the impact on the environment of the unnecessary car journey. Richard is good at ‘serious’. I don’t think a smile has ever crossed his face in the line of duty. It certainly didn’t today.

If you think Richard is right and the banner must come down because I’ve been jolly naughty not knowing that I needed planning permission for it, vote here. Conversely, there is of course the option to support my (prior to Richard’s visit, I thought, inalienable) right to announce the ICETWICE Book Club to the world through the medium of vinyl.

If you wish to send ‘supportive’ emails to Richard, here’s his address, richard.proctor@milton-keynes.gov.uk and his phone number (direct line) is 01908 254694

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21 responses

24 09 2009
Linda

Maybe you could put it in the window – then it would be art-advertising 🙂 xx

24 09 2009
nicholas butler

Richard works for a council whom have “elected officials” so I would find out from the council chairman whom the right committee is. Then I would goto public gallery part of the meeting and ask a question of those elected officials. Put your complaint and your comments in writing to them since they are the people who Richard is working on behalf of.

24 09 2009
icetwice

I appreciate the advice Nicholas. Thanks. Richard’s parting comment was” You have 7 days to take it down, I’ll be back in a week to check”. I am approaching my local councillor, but I can’t see them doing anything much in that time frame. 🙂

25 09 2009
Tom Shields

Hey, why let your ignorance of believing that advertising laws only apply to everyone else in the country except you get in the way of your smug arrogance. Trying to gather support ‘pressure’ in an effort to influence an exemption for yourself just makes your arrogant approach rather pathetic. Time you grew up?
Incidentally, I think Milton Keynes Council should look at discontinuing your car display in the window too.

25 09 2009
icetwice

Why stop there Tom? Let’s go for a proper Stalinist approach and ban all forms of advertising, enterprise and while we’re at it, humour. I think my piece was even handed and invited criticism (which you’ve had a decent stab at) as well as support.

I am slightly baffled by your apparent hatred of harmless giant pink cardboard cars (reasonably priced at £36.99) but it is of course, a free country, or used to be.

Happy Christmas to you. 🙂

25 09 2009
Alex Jelley

“I don’t think a smile has ever crossed his face in the line of duty…”

“If you wish to send ’supportive’ emails to Richard…”

This seems like a personal attack on someone who is clearly fulfilling the duties of a job to me. I’m not sure I would describe it as ‘even handed’ or indeed humorous. Moronic? Possibly.

But Happy Christmas to you too, I hope (should you opt to apply for the necessary advertisement consent) you receive the refusal your awful signage deserves

25 09 2009
icetwice

Well Alex, in normal circumstances, I would be impressed with the way you leap to your colleague Tom’s defence. However, since you both work for Kettering Borough Council in it’s Development Services department, and I understand that your are a Development Officer and Tom is a Manager, I have to say that I have some concerns.

I do wonder, as a voter and taxpayer, if posting comments on my blog is an appropriate use of your time at work? Tom’s comment was timed at 10.18am today and yours a little later at 10.54am.

By the way, does the Council approve of it’s employees using Council computers, (IP address 85.189.57.171) to check their private email? I wonder also if the views you expressed today are professional ones, since you seem to be in the same line of work as Richard Proctor, or merely personal ones? I suppose you would argue that because you used your personal email addresses, they were personal comments, but then I come back to the question about using personal email at work?

Anyone reading this who wishes to contact Tom or Alex and clarify any of the points above can reach them on tomshields@kettering.gov.uk or alexjelley@kettering.gov.uk or indeed if you wish to telephone them, you may use 01536 534316

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for the comments Alex, which will make interesting reading for all the people who read this blog piece, which will probably include the Chief Executive of The Taxpayer’s Alliance, who I happen to know quite well because he came to my store in April for a book signing. I’m just about to send him a link.

He’s also just published a great new book, called ‘FLEECED (How we’ve been betrayed by the politicians, bureaucrats and bankers and how much they’ve cost us)’. If you’d like a copy of that Alex, or Tom, do pop in. You can join the book club advertised on the banner and Buy 1 Get 1 Half Price if you like?

Do you think I need to amend the title of the piece by the way, so it reads “Infamy, Infamy, They’ve All Got It In For Me. (Especially Milton Keynes Council, oh and Kettering Borough Council now as well).” It’s not as snappy is it?

🙂

25 09 2009
Helen Foster

Can’t see a problem about a bloke trying to do his job.

Helen

25 09 2009
icetwice

Exactly Helen. I’m just trying to do my job, advertise our fantastic new Book Club. Thanks for your support! 🙂

25 09 2009
Helen Foster

Don’t see why rules for everyone else shouldn’t apply to you :-s We all have to live in this society and there are a lot of things I don’t like about it but until rules are changed, why should you be any different?

Helen

25 09 2009
icetwice

I seem to remember a teacher at school saying something very similar. Thanks for that 🙂

25 09 2009
jen

I wish they would spend there time taking down the horrible posters on the side of the roads, stuck to signpost, roundabouts advertising an event which has been and gone!!! I do love the pink car, did mean to tweet yout to say I had spotted it and loved it!!!

25 09 2009
icetwice

Thanks Jen. 🙂

Pink Car also available in Blue and Red. £36.99

Child sized versions available too!

26 09 2009
Anon ymous

I live in the historic market town of Olney and have purchased many items from your shop. I do not like your signs as I think they are out of character for the area. If every shop and business were to do the same the character of the town would be totally lost. Olney is a conservation area with many listed building. As a business you have a responsibility and you do not appear to be taking that seriously. I appreciate the recession is biting but this is also the case for all the shops in Olney including the other book and art shops. Please do the right thing and remove the signs. I am remaining anonymous and using my neices computer as you appear to take delight in publishing the names and addresses of anyone who disagrees with you even though it does say (will not be published). Thank you

26 09 2009
icetwice

I simply disagree with you about the nature of our sign. I don’t believe it is any better, worse, or essentially different in nature from the huge variety of signs, banners, a-boards and blackboards used by many of the businesses and other organisations in and around Olney. Some are attractive, some are dreadful, most are somewhere in between those two extremes.

To deal with your other point. The only email addresses I have published are those of two Kettering Borough Council employees who should know better than to use their time at work, on Council computers, both of which you and I fund through our taxes, to post comments on blogs which are essentially abusive in nature. You will probably have noticed that the terms they used included ignorant, smug, arrogant, pathetic and moronic. I have written to the leader of their Council, and when I receive his reply, that will be posted on this blog. Let’s see what he has to say about his employees’ behaviour?

When I post items on other people’s blogs, I do not do so anonymously, but you will note that I have respected your request for anonymity.

26 09 2009
1

I can’t believe you posted details of people’s IP addresses and places of work. I was with you until that point, but i’m afraid that’s just not on. I’m half tempted to complain to wordpress.com, as you obviously don’t care about breaking privacy laws and as a regular customer of yours i’m slightly concerned about what you might do with my own details.

26 09 2009
icetwice

I have to agree with you in the sense that I would not normally do such a thing, but I took care not to publish the personal email addresses that they used to post their comments.

Instead I checked with Kettering Borough Council that they actually worked there, and published their work email addresses and telephone number, all of which are freely available in the public domain through Google.

I believe that as public servants,they acted at best irresponsibly, and as soon as I receive a reply from the leader of Kettering Borough Council, it will be published on the blog in full.

26 09 2009
1

I still disagree with your approach. This is, after all, a blog – and blogs are only as interesting as their posts. You might not agree with the comments posted, but you are the one asking for them in the first place. Personally I’d have taken it on the chin rather than attempting to…well that’s a good point actually, what are you attempting to do? Get them in trouble?!

26 09 2009
icetwice

I publish virtually every incoming comment, critical or complimentary. As far as I remember, the only ones I have not approved for publication in the past have been those that are obscene. I’ll turn it back to you if I may? Do you think they SHOULD be in trouble for using taxpayers’ time and equipment to make personal comments on blogs while at work? I for one am sick and tired of paying thousands of pounds in business rates only to find it squandered by our council. I absolutely guarantee you that the majority of small businesses feel the same way, and also feel powerless to do anything about it.

26 09 2009
1

It doesn’t bother me in the slightest i’m afraid, it’s the same in any work place – be it public or private sector.

Publishing personal data, even if it is work contact details, is a bit off in my opinion – particularly given the assurances given that emails will not be published. Going so far as to write to their boss just seems vindictive to me, given their only fault appears to have been to agree with someone other than you.

26 09 2009
icetwice

We’ll have to agree to differ then. 🙂

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