By Alan Tristram; Photos by Ian Linnng (PrimoFoto)
Life’s pretty tough for Kamal and Deempalben (‘Dimple’) Patel at the moment because their loyal customers can’t park cars anywhere near the shop at Raumati Beach.
Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC) parking laws have wiped out all parking for nearly 20 metres along the Margaret Road shop frontage in favour of two large disabled-only parks – the only one’s of their kind in the village.
Customers can’t park outside, nor can the many distribution vans and trucks delivering goods.
To make matters worse, the rest of the road has 60-minute parking, and a new cafe, which means longer-term parkers are blocking off the rest of the near-by car parks.
Kamal and Dimple feel they’ve reached the end of the road in frustration with a Council which is allegedly pro-small business.
While the attractive couple from Gujarat work seven days a week, 13 hours a day, they see Council bureaucrats (five days a week, eight hours a day, less coffee breaks) dawdling on their case.
Kamal says: “They put these two big disabled parks right outside, but hardly anyone uses them. A council guy visited us and agreed things weren’t good. But we’re still waiting for something to happen!
“Meanwhile some of my customers are going away. Why are they picking on us?”
(Of course, it’s not discrimination on the part of the KCDC, but it must feel like it to the Patels at times).
The Kapiti Independent is taking up the Patels’ case because we feel it is hypercritical of the Kapiti Coast Council to set up a new body to supposedly encourage small businesses – yet hamstring them with regulation.
The Councillor promised KIN a statement explaining what he has done on behalf of his constituents, but this hasn’t eventuated. Meanwhile, the Patels continue to lose business.