Council blacklists barber for warning people about traffic wardens
A HAIRDRESSER has had a close shave with authorities after trying to warn illegally parked motorists of approaching traffic wardens.
Andy Blackwell uses his loud-hailer and a wailing siren sound to warn people when a traffic warden is going to give them a ticket outside his shop.
Mr Blackwell, 51, takes to the megaphone to issue his own personal alert when he sees a parking official.
But the barber has been 'black-listed' by Cornwall Council after a run in with parking officials.
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He said: "They were putting a ticket on a car, which is fair dos, on a double yellow line and I said to the customers in the shop, 'I'm just going to let everybody know'.
"It's a little bit of fun letting everyone know the traffic wardens are here.
"Some people laugh about it and some people say, 'thanks for warning me'.
"I decided to warn people to give them a fair chance to move their car and park somewhere proper."
But he realised the council didn't see the funny side after wardens confronted him at the door of his shop.
"There were two of them booking a repeat offender it has to be said.
"So I decided to warn the public and went out with my loud hailer.
"I never threatened or cursed or swore or offended anybody as far as I was aware I was just having a bit of fun and doing a public service."
But the police then called at his business that day.
He added: "They came within two or three hours.
"When I told them what had gone on they gave me plenty of advice and said be careful because the council take a dim view of this."
Three days later Mr Blackwell said he received a letter from Cornwall Council saying he had been placed on the council cautionary contacts list and his name would be passed to other agencies as well.
Mr Blackwell , who runs Blackie's in Liskeard, added: "I thought it was extreme especially the first part saying I'd verbally abused causing extreme distress to some of their employees."
Cornwall County Council said the cautionary contacts list was an internal system designed to protect council staff from potentially harmful situations including physical assault and verbal abuse.
They added many local authorities have similar schemes and the information is only used within the council and is only available to employees who may be exposed to such risks.
Mr Blackwell has now hung up his megaphone and has started a petition for free parking in the town.
Cornwall Council said in a statement: "The cautionary contacts list is an internal system which aims to protect council staff from potentially harmful situations, including physical assault and verbal abuse.
"Many local authorities around the country have similar schemes in place.
"This information is only used within the council and is only available to those employees who may potentially be exposed to such risks."
It said the list would be reviewed in a year.
Mr Blackwell said he did not want to further "antagonise" the council but said customers would be still be allowed to use the loud hailer.