I've become obsessive about the legalised highway robbery that allows clamping companies to immobilise vehicles and cart them off to some farm deep in the countryside where they are held to ransom just for the crime of parking for a few moments on private land.

I can't understand why clamping has been illegal in Scotland since 1992 but England and Wales have to suffer from the scourge of the clamping crews.

Earlier this week I sat down with the Home Office Minister - and former Drayton Manor High School pupil - Vernon Coaker, whose father was a well-respected police officer in our part of the world.

I was not surprised to hear that Vernon is as angry as I - and many an Ealing North resident - am.

We went through my list of complaints from miniscule unlit "warning" signs to the sums of money beyond the dreams of avarice that are charged.

Vernon pointed out that the definition of theft in Scottish law is completely different from ours and that it would be a criminal offence north of the border for anyone to take a vehicle away without the owner's consent.

Now that sounds like a law I could support.

Sadly, the chances of our changing the whole basis of English and Welsh law are not strong but Vernon has promised to sort this nonsense out.

One possibility would be for landowners to have to apply for a licence before allowing clampers to operate on their land and for that licence to be withdrawn if the company behaved unreasonably.

Whatever the Minister comes up with will be watched with great interest by many a long-suffering resident and I'll make sure that the Ealing Times gets the news as soon as I do.