Cllr Jon Gilbey has been near-daily parking on double yellow lines outside his business – and apparently not receiving parking tickets.
OnTheWight has been observing this for ten months.
Back when the unpopular changes to remove free parking from many Isle of Wight car parks were being discussed, OnTheWight was sent many sets of photos taken by concerned residents of Shanklin showing Cllr Gilbey’s car consistently sitting on double yellow lines at all hours of the day.
The email that accompanied the photos said they just didn’t feel it was right that there was one rule for residents and another for this councillor.
Seemingly escaping parking tickets
It was reported to OnTheWight that in all the times Cllr Gilbey’s car was seen flagrantly abusing the yellow lines, not once had he received a parking ticket. Given the parking violations were near-daily, it’s unclear why Cllr Gilbey escaped being fined.
Since being alerted to this, OnTheWight has also observed this continued abuse by someone elected by the people of Shanklin, over a period of ten months.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, there’s more on top this – Cllr Gilbey was recently made the Chairman of a Special Committee that is looking at parking on the Isle of Wight.
Question in public to Cllr Gilbey
Last Thursday was the first meeting of that committee. During the public question time I took the opportunity to ask Cllr Gilbey the following, giving him an opportunity to explain his actions:
“As giving as they are, I hope we can all agree that councillors shouldn’t get special privileges when parking on yellow lines.
“Would the Chairman explain why he frequently parks on a double yellow lines in Shanklin – without apparently receiving parking tickets?”
This was met by furtive laughter from the other councillors, with one asking , “Tell us your secret.”
Cllr Gilbey didn’t deny it, but instead said,
“There isn’t a secret. Nine times out of ten, it’s either cash and carry delivery, or loading and unloading – and the car gets removed anyway after a period of time.”
Photos taken over months
I pointed out that we’d received photographs over a long period of time, with him consistently parking on the double yellow lines.
The evidence we have is that he parks from before 7am and the car remains in place throughout the day. OnTheWight has photographic evidence of this.
When pushed for an answer, Cllr Gilbey then declared it a ‘personal issue’.
Now chairing special committee looking at parking
I pointed out that it was highly relevant to the committee as he was in position as the Chairman of a select committee that was looking at parking on the Isle of Wight:
“You shouldn’t be making decision on things where you are flouting the rules yourself.”
This wasn’t listened to.
Hiding behind a written answer
Cllr Gilbey then ignored the request for a verbal answer, choosing instead to hide behind the offer of a written response.
After the meeting, I sought Cllr Gilbey to have a private conversation with him. I asked roughly how long he imagined it might take to provide the written answer he offered.
Gilbey: “How long is a piece of string?”
“I’ll answer it when I do” was his first reply. When pressed he said, “How long is a piece of string?” giving the impression that he either had no intention of providing an answer to the question, or it would take so long as to not be relevant.
Nearly a full week later, despite a reminder, we haven’t had the promised reply from Cllr Gilbey.
Encouraged to report him
Since the meeting, we have been contacted by a number of councillors who have suggested that we take this to council officials, reporting Cllr Gilbey for a breach of the councillors code of conduct.
Readers may remember Cllr Gilbey misled and then lied to the press just over a year ago over a far more trivial matter.
Next day: Car not there
It was notable that the next day Cllr Gilbey’s car wasn’t parked on the double yellow line where his car had been photographed so frequently.