Local, district, town and parish councils in England and Wales are working on plans to tighten controls on local residents.
In a move reminiscent of Enver Hoxha's Albania or Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe, town hall bosses plan to exercise newly discovered powers to act as judge, jury and sentencing authority.
On researching the Local Government Act 1989, council solicitors noticed that there was a clause whereby "local authorities may impose minor penalties to enforce compliance with parking, dog-fouling, refuse collection issues etc" - and inspiration dawned!
"We realised the sky was the limit" says Councillor Henry Jobsworth of Tower Hamlets Rural Council. "and we decided on a scale of penalties proportionate to the various offences".
- Parking in a Council Officer's space - £500,00.
- Parking in a Councillor's space - £2,000.00.
- Failure to poop-scoop after your dog - £1000,00.
- Persistent motoring in spite of comprehensive Public Transport (bus) at least once a month - £7.50 per mile.
- Having a nice house in a nice area - £6,000.00 per year.
- Keeping a tidy garden - £500.00 per year.
- Failing to have noisy chav neighbours - £1000.00 per year.
- Leaving a wheely bin out past the "correct" time - £120 per occupant per day.
- Overfilling wheely bin - £120 per occupant.
- Random slaughter of Council jobsworths - £10,000.00 per jobsworth.
- Failure to vote in local elections - £5,000.00 credit as you would probably vote for the other lot.
The large penalties have led to questions and Mr Jobsworth commented "we used the 1926 rates as a baseline and added inflation. The fact that we need a large top-up to the pension fund is purely co-incidental".
The Local Authorities Association have announced the "Pay Us A Lot" scheme whereby residents will be able to transfer their entire earnings direct to the council. The council will then provide residents with pocket money on a weekly basis.