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"I was blacklisted for traffic warden alerts" says Cornish barber

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 30, 2013

Liskeard hairdresser Andy Blackwell says he has been issued with a local authority letter over his megaphone alerts

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A Cornish barber says he has been placed on a council "blacklist" after being told off for using a megaphone to warn motorists of traffic wardens.

Andy Blackwell, owner of Liskeard-based Blackie's Barber Shop, has been issued with a letter from his local authority after his alerts were said to have been a threat to the traffic wardens' "health and safety".

Mr Blackwell, 51, has long campaigned against rising parking fares in Liskeard – one of the towns recently handed a grant for improvements by retail guru Mary Portas – in an effort to help bring customers into the town centre.

But his antics have seen him placed on the council's so-called "cautionary contacts list", an internal document designed to prevent risk to council employees.

Mr Blackwell said: "The council boss said it had come to his attention that I had verbally abused two members of staff and this had caused them extreme distress under the Health and Safety at Work Act. The council said this is totally unacceptable, what I had done, and that I have now been placed on the council's cautionary contacts list.

"I have been blacklisted. It's caused me to be a bit upset that someone could think I'm frightening or a bit intimidating. If I'm regarded as some sort of threat, I surely wouldn't have built up the business I have for nearly 20 years." Mr Blackwell said the complaint dates back to an incident where he used his megaphone as two traffic wardens walked through the town.

A Cornwall Council spokesman said the cautionary contacts lists was "an internal system which aims to protect council staff from potentially harmful situations, including physical assault and verbal abuse".

In a statement, the authority added: "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."

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  • josdave  |  January 30 2013, 2:10PM

    The issue of parking charges is one to take up with the council and it's no good having a go at the traffic wardens who are only doing their jobs. If every motorist parked correctly there would be no need for traffic wardens so their existence is self inflicted by irresponsible motorists.

  • trevl  |  January 30 2013, 12:27PM

    If the traffic wardens went about their business, instead of harassing Andy in the first place, this situation would never have risen.

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  • KJHXXX  |  January 30 2013, 11:28AM

    A threat to health and safety..... mmm yeah right. If Andy's got the megaphone 2 inches from their ears fair enough, but he hasn't. Why doesn't the council address the REAL problem and sort out car parking charges in Liskeard then this bit of fun - which is what it is - wouldn't be required. Andy's haircuts are the best by the way.....

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