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