Jamie at Audiences Central has blogged about something interesting which makes me wonder which is more likely:
- Traffic wardens are routinely told to wander around abandoned industrial units in Ladywood at night looking for cars to ticket; or
- Visitors to (the nationally acclaimed) Birmingham Opera Company’s King Idomeneo are being opportunistically targetted by the city’s traffic wardens.
After hearing council leader Mike Whitby expound on the importance of the arts in the city last night I sincerely hope it’s not the latter.
Now, fair enough, a double-yellow’s a double-yellow and there’s a fire station a couple of roads away that it wouldn’t be very smart to block off.Â But why does the response have to be to send people to ticket the cars (and rake in the cash) night after night?Â Those streets surround derelict buildings and are deserted in the evenings so surely there’s a more constructive solution.
I understand the Opera Company have actually been managing the limited parking availability as well as possible – stewards are telling people where not to park and they’ve put on buses from the Town Hall – so there’s a sense of satisfaction when the wardens (allegedly responding to ‘a complaint’) are unable to ticket anyone.Â Maybe, in hindsight, the Company should have contacted the council themselves to put extra arrangements in place.
Birmingham Opera Company are busting a gut to do something spectacular, putting Birmingham on the map (for the right reasons) and providing something genuinely exciting to attract new audiences and people from outside the city.
Why on earth would anyone from the city want to stand in their way?
By the way, I’ve tried to be a proper journo about this and have called the council’s press office for a response but I’m still waiting for that and, heck, there’s a comment box below.Â If I do hear back from anyone I’ll update this post.
Oh, and the final performances of King Idomeneo are tonight and tomorrow – if you’ve not gone yet then please do, it’s great.