A FORMER advocate of Southend’s hated spy car is campaigning for election... against the spy car.
Until his retirement a few months ago, Derek Kenyon was in charge of Southend Council’s spy car as it handed out tickets to a man with a blue badge dropping off his disabled wife, a woman stopping for seven seconds to drop off her sick, elderly father and a hospital worker visiting patients at home.
But the former parking manager has called for a review of the “ever present” vehicle as he campaigns to be elected as an Independent councillor for Southchurch in May.
In a campaign leaflet Mr Kenyon boasts of being drafted into the council to help set up a “new department in traffic and highways” and progressing to “section leader” after 14 years, but fails to reveal his post as parking ticket chief.
Tony Cox, who as councillor responsible for transport was Mr Kenyon’s boss, said: “I’m shocked the king advocate of the CCTV car as an officer in the council has had a complete about turn in his approach.
“It smacks of shameless electioneering, but that’s what you get from Independent candidates.”
Calling for a “complete review of the purpose” of the spy car in the leaflet, Mr Kenyon writes: “Parking is becoming a major problem in all areas throughout the town.
“Small businesses and residents are suffering from high parking charges, which are forcing shoppers to go elsewhere.
“Local businesses should be leading the recovery in Southend, but are being held back by these charges and the ever-present threat of the camera car driving by and issuing tickets, often without being aware of the circumstances as to why the vehicle is parked there.”
Mr Kenyon was unavailable for comment, but his agent, Independent councillor for Thorpe, Ron Woodley, said: “Derek didn’t decide the policies of the council, he was responsible for carrying out its policies and if he didn’t, he would have been sacked.
“He is now free as he has retired and he is saying what he really believes.”