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Victory for Vanessa! Sandwell Council backs down

We bring you the tremendous news this evening that Sandwell Council is to revoke the £75 fixed penalty notice it handed out to young mother Vanessa Kelly for feeding the ducks

 Vanessa £75 fine is to be dropped along with similar penalties imposed on six other people in Smethwick Hall Park.

However, according to the Sandwell Express and Star who broke the original story:

New Sandwell Council leader Darren Cooper branded the charges “over the top”. He said new warning signs would now be installed in the park and they would be taking a “common sense approach”.

But he warned that wardens wearing head cameras will be on patrol at the Londonderry Lane park and once new signs telling people of the potential charges are put up, there would be a three warnings approach.

Big Brother Watch is proud to have pledged our support for Vanessa and equally proud that Sandwell Council have been forced into this humiliating retreat. But the above quote shows that this council have not learned their lesson and we are now appealing for anyone else who was the victim of a fixed penalty notice for feeding the ducks to send us their details.

Alex Deane, Director of Big Brother Watch, said:

“We are delighted, if unsurprised, that Sandwell Council have admitted defeat in this matter; and we are glad that Vanessa can go on with her life without this ludicrous fine hanging over her head.

“However I am concerned that Sandwell are still intending to issue fixed penalty notices to people who try and feed the ducks in this park.

“Feeding birds is not a crime and people who do it are not criminals. Until Sandwell and other councils around the country stop trying to criminalise everyday pursuits, there will be more cases just like Vanessa’s.”

By Dylan Sharpe

Posted on by Big Brother Watch Posted in Home

8 Responses to Victory for Vanessa! Sandwell Council backs down

  1. Donald

    While fining people for it seems a bit silly, it’s worth noting that feeding bread to ducks is actually bad for them:
    The poster shown about halfway down that page might be a more useful addition to our parks than a fixed penalty warning sign.

  2. Old Holborn

    “wardens wearing head cameras will be on patrol”
    I’ve followed this one. Call me old fashioned but if some council employee in a costume walked up to me and asked me my name and address and handed me a £75 “fine”, I’d still be laughing.
    The Big Brother State doens’t have to enforce the laws. Just assuming you’ll get into trouble for not immediately complying with it is enough to have most people tugging their forelocks to anyone who wears a costume in public.
    Just tell them to fuck off. It always works for me. You are free the moment you decide you are free.

  3. Stonyground

    “A common sense aproach”? These people wouldn’t recognise common sense if it delivered a forty thousand volt electric shock to their goolies.

  4. anon

    The decision to disallow the tradition of feeding ducks is yet another assault on British life. Also, what a waste of money and an abuse of power to have wardens with cameras. Wardens are not police. Who in the British public voted or asked for an ever-increasing range and number of professions and people to become policemen, rather than to serve the public? Whether in shops or other public places or trying to enter people’s homes (without checks and balances), these psuedo-police including social workers are destroying the whole nature of British life. Parks are for the locals and visitors. They are not created in order to unnecessarily increase the power or walth (through fines) of the state, or unnecessarily enrich training and technology companies supplying too many or overly-expensive/technically unnecessary goods for pseudo-policemen, or to harass the public. They are there to serve the public and are meant to be a place for the public to relax and enjoy themselves, including by feeding ducks (within rason) as is traditional. Park rules are not meant to be used as a means to destroy British life and activities, reducing real community (as opposed to government controlled and engineered “social cohesion”)so that the powers at be in the UK or elsewhere can increase their powers without British consent becuase British life and identity has been destroyed and the public is harried, fined, micromanaged, bullied and controlled into giving up non-criminal persuits and a way of life which the social engineers and totalitarians don’t like. Custms, traditions and the ability of the public to engage in traditionally normal and non-criminal behaviours bind society, and a protection against dictatorships, as is an officialdom and public who are outraged and surprised when officials act like prison-guards or Nannies, as opposed to the current situation when the British are not.

  5. Warren Ross

    “The decision to disallow the tradition of feeding ducks is yet another assault on British life.”
    I think the words you are looking for are “poison Ducks with inappropriate food items” I am sorry to say that. Health and safety will not be deflected on this point.
    The Bird nutrition Quango G.F.F.B. has issued a directive to all councils in England, but not Ireland, Scotland or Northern Wales. As you know South Wales has it own organisation G.F.F.W.B. (good food for Welsh Birds), which has yet to complete its initial assessment of the principle concerns outlined in the miss-feeding of Bird Act 2001 and it later revisions of 2004 and 2005. A spoksperson for DUCKO, the duck charity noted “we asked for the death sentence but would have been happy with the fine”, He later admitted that “we might have been just a little over zealous in this case”.

  6. Nigel de Jong

    But he warned that wardens wearing head cameras will be on patrol at the Londonderry Lane park and once new signs telling people of the potential charges are put up, there would be a three warnings approach.
    They are complete idiots waisting taxpayers money. Maybe they should be charged for that reason.

  7. supra skytops

    [ this is good]

  8. Chris

    Please remove the fireworks image. It is my own, and violates my copyright.

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