Our new government has cottoned on to the fact that government is inefficient and bureaucratic. They are so confused about it they are asking us, the people, to come up with ideas how to simplify things. It will be interesting to see what ideas come their way. Well I have a very simple one that came my way this week.
My local council kindly sent me a renewal form for my resident’s parking permit. It is a simple matter, I live here, I have lived here for several years, and I only need to renew my permit. Not so, when you are dealing with the local authority. They need to make in complicated, time consuming and bureaucratic.
First there is a parking form to fill in. They already know who I am as I already have a permit, but no, let’s start the whole process again. The local wise have even come up with a second form, showing how ‘equal opportunities’ oriented they are. Please to fill in my race, religion, gender, age and a few other matters.
The process does not end with the filling in of the forms. I have to produce the kind of documents I would need to open a bank account. Proof of identity and proof of address. Then I also have to prove that the address is actually owned or rented by me.
I then have to prove that I own the car or lease it or have permission from the owner to drive it and park it at my home.
The car must be registered at the home address here. The reason for this is that the local wise want to ensure that second home owners cannot get a parking permit. That is, unless they have registered a car at the address of their second home. Never mind that they pay council tax also.
So I fill in the forms with such details as race – white other. After all I am not white British, but white foreign and yes I am allowed to live and work here. Not much to do with parking, but just do it! The bureaucrats will have my ….. otherwise and certainly not give me the permit.
I gather all the documents they need – please to present originals!
By the time I am done, have gone over to the required office in person, stood in a queue, the local bureaucrat has put it into the system, the system has been maintained by some boffins – with any luck it will not break down whilst I am there – and the required reports are produced, distributed, read, commented on, revised, we will have spent a small fortune on bureaucracy. We will also have employed at tax payer expense a small army of people.
After presenting the same local bureaucrat with a rather large payment I will hopefully get my parking permit – that is of course assuming that I have not signed outside the box and that all documents are found to be in good order. Last time one bureaucrat did not like something so we came back the next day and his colleague had no comments.
Whether I can actually find a parking space on the weekends is doubtful though – that is not included. It is after all more a revenue generating scheme than a guaranteed parking scheme.
Friends in Whitehall – it really is not that difficult to reduce bureaucracy. Just get on with it!