The handyman or the businessman: Whose side are you on?

Wes lives across the road from me. Everyone knows Wes as he greets them in the street, ask after their children and offers to do any painting and decorating jobs they might have going. Wes has a problem with a local business.

Atkinson McLeod are one of the most reliable local estate agents. Unfortunately they park their fleet of Fiat 500s down our road.

Wes has an ancient orange van and is very keen that he is able to park it outside his house. Often, when he is off on a job, he will leave a couple of traffic cones in the road to mark out his space.

Wes drove past the the other night and said with some agitation “they’re in my space” and asked me to “go and tell them”.

I popped in to the estate agents where half a dozen young men were at the end of their working day. I asked if the car could be moved to give Wes space to park; they very politely agreed and rushed out to move the car, which was perfectly legally parked.

Did I have any right to poke my nose in?

In most situations, my sympathy is with the resident, in the same way that Wandsworth council naturally sides with businesses. Whose side are you on?

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