Monday 7 February 2011

Brian Coleman is horrified that Parking permits are less than £2 a week

From: "Coleman, Cllr Brian Conservative"
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2011 16:18:34 -0000
To: Conservative Cllrs
Cc: Robeson, Richard; Rachel Shawcross
Subject: FW: POLITICAL email

I suspect some colleagues have been getting e mails from residents about the abolition of free spaces and the rises in parking charges . There is an orgnaised campaign in Hampstead Garden Suburb and in Golders Green .

The following brief may therefore be helpful

As you know both these issues were discussed at length at Group and at the various budget meetings

On Free Bays

They are a nonsense and do not exist in other Boroughs. I have not seen one logical argument in favour of free bays. If you live in a CPZ you have the advantages and also the consequences. Some residents apparently think they can just use free bays and not purchase visitor permits or even residents permits. They do not help shopkeepers as someone (commuters for example ) can park from morning till night for nothing. I suspect many residents will welcome the Additional residents bays that will now be available

As for the cost of residents permits and the general increase in charges there is a piece on the front page of yesterdays Sunday Times which outlines the huge rises in fees and charges across local Government in England ( It does not mention Barnet) . This is an opportunity to sort out the Special Parking Account once and for all , I was frankly horrified at the state of it when I took over in May and at £100 our permits are less than £2 a week and will still be cheaper than Westminster , Camden , Hammersmith and Bexley to my knowledge . The Sunday Times lists various changes to parking being proposed Kensington and Chelsea restrictions till 10pm , Enfield charging to park on a Sunday etc etc

The only way we are going to be able to spend any money on Highways or pavement repairs ( and the next set of potholes are just beginning to appear) is to use any surplus from the parking fund .

There are about 10,000 residents Permits in circulation in Barnet roughly 7,000 of our approx 200,000 households .

As colleagues will know Group rejected other Officer proposals such as Camera monitoring of parking and yellow box enforcement and increased hours for the A5 Bus Lane . the increase in charges forms part of the Budget proposals and is therefore of course subject to the Group Whip .

I do not imagine these proposals are going to be politically popular but we  are going to have to face far more flack than this in the next couple of months !!

Happy New Year !!

From: Harper, Cllr Andrew Conservative
Sent: 09 January 2011 10:02
To: Coleman, Cllr Brian Conservative
Cc: Marshall, Cllr John Conservative; Thomas, Daniel Cllr Conservative; Cornelius, Cllr Richard Conservative; Hillan, Cllr Lynne Conservative; Rams, Cllr Robert Conservative
Subject: POLITICAL email


As you'll have seen, there are a number of similar messages on this subject, and I'm getting other postbag on it too, coming on top of the fuss about free bay removal.

What's the line on the dramatic increases in permit charges? Is it that we need the money to fund highway maintenance costs?

The CRC report is no help at all, merely stating these are "new charges following revision of permit structure and costs".

Cllr Andrew Harper

Garden Suburb Ward
Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Families
London Borough of Barnet

From: R***** S****
To: ; Democratic, Services; First Contact
Cc: Harper, Cllr Andrew Conservative; Marshall, Cllr John Conservative; Thomas, Daniel Cllr Conservative; Cornelius, Cllr Richard Conservative; Hillan, Cllr Lynne Conservative; Rams, Cllr Robert Conservative; Coleman, Cllr Brian Conservative
Sent: Sat Jan 08 19:35:38 2011
Subject: CPZ Parking Charges
Dear Sirs,

I am writing to object to the totally unreasonable level of increase proposed for the parking permits for the Barnet CPZ, the proposed abolition of the free parking bays and the seemingly underhand method of slipping these increases through without public consultation.

With inflation running at less than 5%, salaries increasing at less than this (if at all) I am amazed that councillors feel that this level of increase to parking permits is anything other than outrageous. Like most people we need our cars for work purposes and they are not something that can just be ditched to avoid parking permit costs. The council needs to learn to live within their income and cut their cloth to match this, not to covertly increase residents' costs at a time of austerity.

The proposed increases to Parking Pay and Display Fees and Charges are similarly outrageous and will simply result in local businesses struggling to attract custom as their customers baulk at paying more to park. With centres such as Brent Cross offering free parking why are councillors intent on making life as hard as possible for local Centres?

The proposed abolition of the free bays is disgraceful as we were sold the CPZ on the basis that these bays would exist. They are very useful for relatives, friends and tradesmen and, if removed, will simply mean tradesmen having to charge more for their services to pay for these extra charges.

I hope that Councillors remember that ridiculous increases such as this will be remembered by voters at the next elections.

Yours sincerely,

****** **** **** ******