Stolen car? No, the council's moved it

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A HEALTH manager who returned from holiday to find that his new £20,000 car had vanished from outside his house has hit out at council chiefs who moved it without telling him.

NHS project manager Steve Shon returned from Austria last week but, to his horror, his new Saab 9.3 was gone.

He immediately contacted police to report the car stolen from outside his Claremont Crescent home, but was told it hadn’t been stolen, but had instead been moved by the city council so workers could clean drains.

Mr Shon, who works at the city’s Astley Ainslie Hospital, said: "I had been away on holiday for a week and as soon as I got into my street I looked for my car but it was nowhere to be seen.

"I searched the whole street in case I had parked it somewhere else and forgotten but there was no sign of it at all.

"I had a horrible sinking feeling in my stomach and I just knew it had been stolen."

The 45-year-old added: "It took me years to save up for the car and I love it. I just couldn’t believe it, the thought of it being stolen was awful."

Mr Shon contacted police to report his car stolen, but was told the council had moved it because workers had been cleaning drains in his street.

He said: "They moved my car to Bonnington Road which lies next to Rosebank Cemetery. There were no cars for 400 metres and my car was sitting on its own.

"I can’t believe the council would do this. It’s a scandal . And why do they only schedule these things three days beforehand?

"Somehow I don’t believe that their staff are sitting there on a Monday not knowing what they will be doing on a Thursday. If they knew that the work, which was nothing more than routine maintenance, was going ahead why didn’t they inform the residents weeks in advance?

"Do they think that no-one goes on holiday? It’s terrible for anyone to come back and find that their car has gone."

Mr Shon said his friend had her car vandalised close to where the council had left his car. He added: "This is not how you expect a council to act. "

A spokeswoman for Edinburgh City Council said: "It is very important that gullies are cleaned to prevent flooding problems.

"We follow an agreed procedure when we need to keep a street clear in order to have access to it. The council issued a temporary traffic order in the street three days before the work was due to begin and cones and extra signs were placed on the street the day before."

The spokeswoman added: "The vehicle was parked over the gully, and was relocated to the nearest appropriate street where our equipment could place the car safely.

"The details were passed on to the police, as they always are. We are sorry that Mr Shon was inconvenienced ."