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Camden News - By DAN CARRIER
Published: 17 April 2008
Clampdown on CAM 300C: Mayor Somper falls foul of parking wardens in Hampstead on Monday
Clampdown on CAM 300C: mayor Somper falls foul of parking wardens in Hampstead on Monday
‘I don’t know whose car it is – It shouldn’t be parked there’ – Mayor gets done!

IT is the picture that will make every motorist that has ever felt hard done by a parking ticket smile with glee: the Mayor of Camden’s car parked illegally in Hampstead – and getting the once over from two wardens.
The limo, put at the disposal of Conservative mayor councillor Dawn Somper, was spotted on double yellow line outside the Bombay Bicycle Club restaurant in Downshire Hill, Hampstead, on Monday afternoon.
Cllr Somper had been chauffeur driven to the Indian curry house to hob-nob with the trustees and performers of the annual arts and culture event, the Hampstead and Highgate festival (see preview on page 20-21).
But while she was inside enjoying Indian nibbles and a glass of wine, Camden’s wardens were photographing her car and preparing to slap a £60 fine under the windscreen.
The warden, who would not be named, said: “It’s not supposed to be on a double yellow, is it? I do not know whose car it is – if it’s parked illegally, it’s parked illegally.”
Despite the fact the car had a distinctive personalised number plate and the civic shield stuck to the roof, the warden dutifully began to fill out a ticket – before ringing up his bosses at the town hall to double check whether he should issue the fine.
Parking fines became a key political issue in the council elections of two years ago: the Conservatives made political capital out of what they saw as Camden’s unfair parking fine regime when they came into power with the Lib-Dems, and promised to ban clamping.
Cllr Somper was not perturbed by her brush with the boys in green: she let the wardens get on with it, and told the New Journal her car has a permit which allows her to park anywhere at any time, meaning any ticket issued would be waived.
A council spokesman said: “The mayor, as the first citizen of the borough, attends around 500 engagements each year. She has a permit which allows her to park on both double and single yellow lines without restrictions while on official duty,
“If the driver can’t find a space, they can park in restricted areas.”

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