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Letter: We Should Complain About Over-zealous Rules Interpretation

Published on: 1 May, 2020
Updated on: 1 May, 2020

From Paul Beardsell

Of course, everyone is in favour of social distancing, and many of the rules seem reasonable and, even where apparently unreasonable, perhaps they ought to be obeyed for the normal civil order reasons. But there is a busybody response from some in officialdom, an eagerness to over-interpret the rules, and a desire from some to officiously police us, which is entirely distasteful and against the British tradition.

Surrey County Council lost no time in shutting the car parks, and did so against government advice that parks and other public areas should remain open, and did not rectify that mistake despite the government several times making it very clear parks were to remain open. The government has also made clear that driving to the place one wishes to exercise is permitted, within reason.

Newlands Corner is on the ancient North Downs Way. This is often walked recreationally, is never crowded, and I never remember anything which would contravene social distancing even before the present problem. The area is too beautiful to be considered just exercise, it’s fuel for the soul, and therefore obviously this must be frustrated by those who think we cannot be permitted to enjoy ourselves.

I have complained to the county council that they are being over-zealous. I suggest readers join me by using SCC’s online facility: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/contact-us/complaints-comments-and-compliments/all-other-council-services

See also: Opinion – Does the Council’s Closing of Car Parks Really Reduce Risk of Infection?

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test 3 Responses to Letter: We Should Complain About Over-zealous Rules Interpretation

  1. Norah Morden Reply

    May 1, 2020 at 11:59 am

    Car parks are often near open countryside where it is easy to keep your distance from others. An example is Blackheath where Waverley Council has left the car park open next to a huge area where many people, especially dog walkers, greatly appreciate being able to walk, cycle and jog.

    Guildford Borough Council seems over-zealous and lacking imagination in closing their car parks.

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    May 1, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Actually, the borough council shut their car parks in line with government advice, at that time, and GBC had to follow along. But when the government changed their advice SCC and GBC failed to take notice.

  3. Nikolajs Krasnikovs Reply

    May 12, 2020 at 9:55 pm

    Newlands Corner car park must be reopened as it is in line with the recent government advise. Not to mention how ridiculous are the concrete blocks at the entrance. I wonder who ordered those military-grade defences? Have the good councillors got news that Wehrmacht is not going to invade Surrey this summer?

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