City councillors in Birmingham have called on the Government to make wheel clamping illegal. According to Lib Dem councillor Michael Wilkes, while Council officers do sterling work trying to combat this anti-social trade, they find they cannot do much because the law is so pathetically weak. People have it far better in Scotland, where wheel clamping is illegal.
Lib Dem Ann Holtom who represents Tyburn Ward, speaking at a meeting in Sutton Coldfield last night, said that in Birmingham most vehicles are now being towed away by clampers rather than being clamped, simply to raise extra revenue. While the clampers can be challenged in the Small Claims Court with the innocent motorist always winning, the clampers just ignore the verdict and refuse to pay the fine because it is up to the motorist to pursue them further through the courts. According to Cllr Wilkes, there is no record of a single clamper paying their fine.
If the government heed Birmingham's call, they will introduce stringent conditions for clampers to operate under and real enforcement powers - to be administered by Local Authorities.