New Secret plan to increase Parking Charges in Barnet
Passing the buck in Hendon
by Andrew Dismore
Written on 15/Dec/2011
Barnet’s latest efforts to smokescreen the impact of their parking polices do not fool anyone. Having bashed residents with their unjustifiable and excessive hikes in CPZ charges, they are now aiming to destroy our local high streets, whether it is Temple Fortune, Mill Hill Broadway, East Finchley and everywhere else: black bin liners over parking payment machines are coming to a shopping street near you, if they are not there already, as the Council force people into paying ever higher charges by phone: and they even have the effrontery to charge you an administration fee on top of the parking charge for the dubious privilege of doing so.
Now retail guru Mary Portas, in her report commissioned by the Prime Minister, has added her voice to the problems of our struggling shopping centres by highlighting the impact of rising parking charges, which she thinks should come down. Barnet Council’s response? To secretly plan yet a further increase in parking charges next year of 5%!
Where are the voices of Barnet’s Tory MPs? They’ve kept their heads well down, saying and doing nothing as they fail to stand up for their constituents and local traders as the parking charges hit. The Leader of the Council, Cllr Cornelius says he can’t do anything. If the Leader can’t do anything, why does he collect his exorbitant allowances and just what is he for?
He’s now passed the buck and the blame to his controlling Conservative Group. This means the power behind the Cornelius throne, Barnet’s very own grand vizier Cllr Brian Coleman AM, gets the final say, so we know that’s the end of that. Cllr Coleman used to claim to be the motorists’ friend- but I doubt any car owner or shopkeeper in Barnet would think so now!
The Council, under the influence of Cllr Brian Coleman, simply do not care about the impact this has on local residents and traders. It is hard enough for them at the best of times as they compete with the large shopping malls, some with free parking- but at a time of stretched shopper’s budgets compounded by the Government’s ill advised VAT increase, it is a criminally irresponsible blow to the local economy. The suggested alternative of hunting round for a paypal site or scratch and sniff cards are not practical for most shoppers, who will just go elsewhere.
The result will be businesses failing with unpaid business rates, boarded up shops and restaurants, and a stagnant local economy in continual decline.
Things have not got better since the last local and London Assembly elections: and this is down to Cllr Coleman AM.
In just 4 months time, residents will have the chance to pass their verdict on Cllr Coleman as he stands for re-election to the London Assembly. I am sure local people will reflect on this record when casting their ballot. As the Labour candidate, I believe in supporting local businesses and residents, not harming and harassing them at a time of unprecedented economic pressures.
Labour London Assembly candidate for Barnet and Camden