As anyone who has ever come into contact with the 'Computer Says No' mentality of any local authority/government department will attest, common sense flies out of the window before the idols of PC, AGW and healthism will ever be compromised, so there is scant hope for a South London charitable organisation who are seeking an exemption from London's Low Emissions Zone regulations for their Santa Sleigh festive float.
Sutton & Cheam Round Table's Santa has thrilled kids since 1966, raising in the region of £10,000 at Christmas time for local charities including the Royal Marsden Hospital which specialises in treating children with cancer, and is an overflow facility for Great Ormond Street. This looks like being the last year of its operation though, as LEZ regulations state that the vehicle carrying the float will attract a charge of £200, per day of operation, from October 2010. This figure is over a quarter of the daily amount they raise, and though they could still carry on regardless, there are worries over volunteer numbers, which isn't surprising seeing as a large chunk of their efforts will be swallowed up by the vast coffers of the GLA.
The year before the sleigh made its first appearance, in 1965, the Round Table raised just 13s 6d, but £150 the next yuletide once Santa turned up waving from the top of the moving kids' fantasy. The sleigh has brought in a whopping £140,000 since then.
Now Boris is in charge, there may be hope of a reprieve and the GLA may well turn down £2,800 of unearned income (would you bet on it?).
What is interesting is that this will pose a bit of a problem for the right-on, self-installed protectors of everyone else's lives. Do they think of the chiiildren in this case, or think of the planet?