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Call to end clamp misery

COUNCILLORS are to demand a code of conduct for car clampers in Huddersfield.

COUNCILLORS are to demand a code of conduct for car clampers in Huddersfield.

And they have backed an Examiner campaign to curb the activities of unregulated wheel-clamping firms operating throughout the town.

Labour councillor Mehboob Khan will be seeking support from the council on a campaign to end the misery caused by what he termed unacceptable standards of behaviour by car clampers.

"Clampers patrolling private land are currently unregulated and, as the law stands, they can impose whatever charges they like.

"However, from next year they will have to be licensed and will have to abide by a code of conduct."

Clr Khan said Labour councillors were arguing that companies wanting to get a licence should operate inside the planned code now rather than waiting for legislation to be introduced.

At next week's Kirklees Council meeting, he and other members will push for regulations forcing all clampers to abide by a code of conduct drawn up by the British Parking Association, which is expected to form the basis of new legislation.

Clr Khan supported calls that police, Kirklees Council, the AA and landowners should work together to find a sensible solution to the problem.

"Recent media coverage has highlighted Huddersfield across Britain as a town where wheel clamping is out of control.

"We support the Examiner and Barry Sheerman MP on this campaign."

The Examiner was the first to highlight the case of Marsh man Tim Garbutt, whose car was towed away after he parked outside empty premises in Old Leeds Road, Huddersfield."

Tim Garbutt (car clamping fine) 240

He is refusing to pay a bill currently standing at more than £1,600 - and rising at £35 a day.

Government legislation is expected to come into force next year. However in the intervening period the councillors insist there should be a local voluntary code which includes:

* Clamping should be seen as a remedy or last resort when other options have failed

* There should be a legal agreement between landowner and contractor

* Clearly visible signs must be displayed and illuminated after dark

* Vehicles should not be removed unless there is a health and safety risk or obstruction

* Details of contractors must be displayed

* Clamping fees should be set at an agreed level and accepted in any form of payment.

Clr Khan added: "We call on Kirklees Council to support the Huddersfield Examiner to curb the menace of car clampers in our borough."


Doug Thomson
Huddersfield Town correspondent
Chris Roberts
Huddersfield Giants correspondent
Louise Cooper
Crime correspondent
Nick Lavigueur
Health Correspondent
Joanne Douglas
Local Government Correspondent
Linda Whitwam
Education Correspondent
Henryk Zientek
Business Correspondent
Martin Shaw
Mirfield Correspondent