WHEN BLACKPOOL FC were promoted to the Premier League in 2010 they staged an extremely busy event on the Promenade to celebrate, with the team riding through on an open top bus before taking to the stage to belt out that this was the “best trip they had ever been on”. I went to this event and parked on Blackpool South car park, paying a fairly ridiculous minimum charge of £3.50 for the trouble. But hey, it was a one-off (or maybe not if Ian Holloway can stop the team conceding cheap goals).
I just checked and the minimum charge has gone up to £5.00 for this car park, and this is only enough to buy you 3 hours of time before the parking stasi come along and make your trip a whole lot more expensive. In tourist spots in Cornwall, £5.00 gets you the whole day making Blackpool very, very expensive. Expensive unless you are a Muslim that worships at the controversial Noor A Madina mosque on Waterloo Road, operated by Labour Party drone Tasurraf Shah.
This Sunni Islam mosque has been desperately trying to expand its capacity over the last year and boasts on its Wikipedia page that, ‘there are two 200-person capacity buildings at the mosque; three remain under development.’Assuming the other three buildings are of equal size (they are all similarly sized shops), this works out at a current capacity of 400 and a prospective capacity of 1,000 Muslims. Unfortunately their expansion plans were quashed on the basis of insufficient car parking.
On the 13th of February, 2012, Pam Goodwin from Blackpool Council confirmed that 8 parking permits, with no restriction on the vehicle used, had been issued to the Noor A Madina mosque permitting an hour’s free parking on Blackpool South car park every Friday. It seems like a token gesture, because this in no way covers the mosque’s capacity of 400 people. However, since the minimum charge at this car park is £5.00 per vehicle, this works out at a subsidy of £40 per week, or a colossal £2,080 per annum from Blackpool Council.
You might remember that Council Leader Simon Blackburn was asked, through a petition of over 2,300 signatures, to stop the council putting up the rent for the 1st Bispham Scout and Guides group from £10 to £1,400. In rejecting this request, he said;
The implication of granting the Scouts the discretionary payment they seek, while affordable in itself, would be to open the floodgates to a whole host of other equally venerable institutions, and that is a burden I am not prepared to ask tax payers to fund.
A fair point, I suppose, if a little disappointing. The council, however, are not operating in a consistent, fair manner on this. It appears that if the subject matter is a mosque, operated by a crony of the controlling Labour councillors, leading a minority group that could potentially cultivate Labour voters, the council are happy to throw away their stance of protecting taxpayers money and bung over £2,000 per year in benefits in kind to the cause. Simon Blackburn is a hypocrite.
The Fairness Commission should be all over this because, as Tasurraf Shah highlights in her appeal against the rejection of planning permission, there are three other churches within sight of the mosque and, like the Noor A Madina, they do not have on-site parking for their congregations. As such, the council should in fact be supplying these churches with appropriate parking passes to maintain fairness.
Similarly, other business owners in the area that I have spoken to have applied for parking permits and been rejected by the council, but it seems that handouts are only available if you
vote Labour pray to Allah rather than keep the town’s economy going.
I’ve just been informed that following these revelations about free parking passes (which portfolio holder Fred Jackson is said to have been unaware of) and some sniffing around from the Gazette, the council have performed a massive U-turn on this issue and withdrawn all of the passes from the Noor A Madina mosque.
Council officers have no authority to whimsically hand out free council services to those they favour. This is yet another insight into a laissez-faire, tail-wags-dog culture in which the officers rule until they are found out. Sound familiar? Of course, if KPMG had done a report about it, it would probably have been kept secret.
That said, expect to see this in Wednesday’s Gasjet.
Give yourselves a pat on the back, folks!