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CCTV spy car threat to Highgate village butcher's shop

PUBLISHED: 11:03 02 August 2012 | UPDATED: 22:00 02 August 2012

Lee Harper outside his shop Highgate Butchers in Highgate High Street

Lee Harper outside his shop Highgate Butchers in Highgate High Street

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A council CCTV car sent to snoop on Highgate traders unloading stock in the village may threaten the future of a popular independent butcher's that survived a bomb attack and the BSE crisis.

Highgate Butchers, which has been at the heart of the village community for the past 37 years, fears it may lose its trustworthy supplier, Clark and Son, because they keep being fined by Haringey Council when they deliver.

In one week the supplier was ticketed three times for parking along Highgate High Street, landing Justin Clark with a £330 bill.

The CCTV car itself is allowed to flout parking rules in order to catch motorists out.

Butcher Lee Harper, who runs the family business with his mother Phyllis, now fears Mr Clark will stop supplying meat to the village because of loading restrictions.

The 35-year-old said: “It is just a really sneaky way of making money. This is not about controlling traffic flow. I can’t carry 65 kilos of meat up Highgate Hill. How is my supplier supposed to drop off deliveries?”

The Harper family bought Highgate Butchers in 1975. It survived an IRA bomb outside Oxfam in 1993, an attack by animal rights’ extremists, and the BSE crisis.

Mr Harper said: “The council should be helping independent businesses, not hindering them.

‘‘This is our livelihood. The fact that these CCTV cars can park illegally to catch people out is just double standards.”

Restrictions are in place between 8am and 9.30am and between 5pm and 6.30pm. The butcher has called for the rules to be relaxed to allow more time in the morning for deliveries.

A Haringey Council spokeswoman said: “Loading restrictions are in place to assist with peak time traffic flows. Shops should be aware that vehicles are not permitted to park when the loading restrictions are in force.

“We’ve used mobile CCTV cars in areas where we know there are problems with free flowing traffic due to illegal parking or moving traffic offences for a number of years.’’

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