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Musician’s song attacks council parking wardens

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AN Edinburgh joiner is hoping to top the charts with a lyrical pot shot at Edinburgh City Council entitled Gone Too Far

Award-winning musician Benny Tetteh-Lartey, from Loanhead, is set to release a single in which he waxes metaphorically about his run-in with the council’s parking ­regulators.

It comes after the 47-year-old claimed a legal victory last week in an Edinburgh Sheriff Court ruling preventing officers from seizing his work van in response to five unpaid fines dating back as far as 2010.

Taking a veiled swipe at the local authority, Mr Tetteh-Lartey sings: “In your ivory tower, you’re making some people cower. The devil be your only friend.”

The chorus bluntly sums up his feelings, echoing, “You’ve gone too far”.

The single has been recorded and mixed, and is due to be officially released by British label Aardvark Records within weeks.

The singer/songwriter said: “It’s about local authority. These kind of things, they get my back up.

“I suppose you need that kind of thing in order to write songs. You’ve got to have a drive and that always is the case. It’s normally at my unhappiest times that I write half decent songs.”

Mr Tetteh-Lartey’s failure to pay five £30 parking fines and subsequent unsuccessful appeals led to £600 being added to the invoice and a legal showdown with the council.

Sheriff officers at firm Scott and Co had been due to seize and auction off the songwriter’s seven-year-old LDV Maxus van in a move that would have left the self-employed joiner without a work vehicle and transport for his three children.

Last Thursday’s verdict means possession of his car is no longer under threat, but the fight remains far from over with the council yesterday saying it is still intent on recovering almost £600.

Following the success people took to the performer’s Facebook to applaud him. Julia Lundholm McPhee said: “Well done for standing firm on this.” While Sandy Macneil posted: “Well done and good luck for the rest of the fight.”

City transport convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “Mr Tetteh-Lartey owes the sum of £588.30 as a result of his repeated parking offences, including parking in a disabled bay. Scott & Co, the sheriff officers contracted by the council to recover debts, will continue to pursue this matter.”

Mr Tetteh-Lartey said he had only run into trouble because the council failed to tell him that he had submitted secondary appeals to his fines to the wrong organisation.

He said: “I appealed it again to the same Edinburgh council address when in fact I should have addressed it to the Scottish Parking Appeals Service. The council took advantage of the fact that I made a mistake there and let 28 days go by without responding to my second appeal and once my time had elapsed they had me on a loophole.”

Mr Tetteh-Lartey has written to the council agreeing to pay the original outstanding total, £150, in a bid to end the 
ordeal.

 

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