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give nonsense answers, and eventually I get to talk to a charming lady in a call center in India. Yes, she will register my com-

plaint about the robot;most people she talks to want to register a complaint about the robot (no surprises there then). She calmly explains that I have misunderstood; the two-month dis- count is for newcustomers only, not for loyal customers that have been with themfor 20 years. OK, so they don’t value my cus-

tom, so I will go somewhere else, is thatwhat shewants? I got the discount. So all in all, insurers do not insure

you for what you want, but what they want to give you.Andmost of the time when you think you are covered, you are not.Will insurers give you the best deal or take you for every penny they can – you work it out.

Oh, and the MPs A few months ago, I wrote about

all the “honorable members” of Parlia- ment who had been caught with their snouts in the trough and taken taxpay- ers’ pounds in unjustified expenses. Most people reading the information revealed in the investigation would have had little difficulty in finding a few dozen that should have gone to court, but it seems that most of them got away with simply paying back the money.About six are standing trial; a hundred or so stepped down at the recent election; and the rest got away free and clear. Move on, turn the page, we have

a new government pledged to be squeaky clean and to rein in govern- ment spending on things such as min- isterial cars and unreasonable expens- es. Eighteen days in, and one minister has gone when it was revealed that he paid £40,000 in taxpayers’money in rent to his partner; his replacement also has some issues over question- able claims. Anotherminister going to an offi-

cial event in Dunkirk takes a govern- ment car and driver and spends a night in France at more than four times the cost to the taxpayers of taking a ride on Eurostar.

Peter Guest is Parking Today’s corre- spondent on all things British, European and other parking-related topics “over there.” He can be reached at


TimHaahs Leads Pennsylvania Smart Growth Conference

TimothyHaahs&Associates joined forceswith the Pennsylvania SmartGrowth Part-

nership to create an all-day conference focused on Smart Growth.TheApril conference in Greensburg, PA, was part of a continuing education effort that the partnership has been promoting to all itsmembers. TimHaahs’ Jim Zullo, CAPP, LEEDAP, and Todd Helmer, P.E., shared presentations

focused on best practices and case studies in smart growth, including downtown parking management trends and technology, and parking planning and design focused on down- town redevelopment efforts.

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