When all is said and done

We have put together a collection of quotes by Westminster City Councillors, officers and those in opposition to the bike parking tax. Most of these quotes came from the Built Environment Policy and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on the 31st March 2009.

Reading through these quotes you will perhaps see why the protest not only continues, but attracts more supporters with each passing day.

Our favourite quote is at the end, from Conservative Councillor Angela Hooper, who with just one line lets the cat out of the bag. She does not believe that residents and other stakeholders should have any input towards deciding council policy, except by voting every four years. You see Councillor Batty Burbridge is not the only Conservative dinosaur left trolling the corridors of City Hall.

Dr Leon Mannings Transport Consultant

“I suggest that if you as a committee decide to scrutinize nothing else, you should have a serious investigation as to why the council has published a stream of woefully miss calculated figures in relation to the costs and incomes from this ill conceived tax scheme, and continues to publish sums that simply do not add up”

Nick Brown MAG General Secretary

“If you make motorcycle parking free you still have not invested in motorcycling anyway near as much as you have for walking and cycling, therefore I submit to you that would be a far better way forward if you want to cut congestion in the city”

Rupert D’Cruz Westminster Labour Councillor

“How many residents who responded to the survey actually opposed the scheme and how many supported i? Because my understanding is that no residents who responded actually support the scheme”

Kevin Goad Westminster Councill officer Acting Head of Parking

“All the objections from residents which accounted for 5.8% of total objections were against the scheme”

Ruth Bush Westminster Labour Councillor

“The diversity of bikers has been amazing to see, and the idea that they should be insulted as thugs and hooligans really is offensive”

Susan Burbridge Westminster Conservative Councillor

“I’m sure actually I would stand up and be against increases if I’d always got things for free”

Editors note: Burbridge has a free westminster wide parking permit.

Rupert D’Cruz Westminster Labour Councillor

“Even if you reduce your income by a third, you’re still going to be generating a massive profit. So it’s not going to be, even on the revised proposal a revenue neutral scheme”

Carolyn Keen Westminster Conservative Councillor

“I’m not here to promote the idea of making money out of parking”

Editors note: Keen also has a free westminster wide parking permit, and minutes later voted to recommend keeping the parking tax, which will make a profit.

Ruth Bush Westminster Labour Councillor

“you’ve brought in so much money, you just don’t need the charge to continue. It’s very bad reputationally for Westminster”

Rupert D’Cruz Westminster Labour Councillor

“It’s either revenue neutral and we’re not going to raise a profit, or it is going to raise a profit and we can use it for other things”

Susan Burbridge Westminster Conservative Councillor

“if you add it up it’s not much more than a couple of cups of Starbucks coffee at the end of the week. This is what a resident said to me, I’ve not made it up”

Alan Bradley Westminster Conservative Councillor

“In some respects I do regret the tone of this report” “There is an indication in some cases of people having formed a view before we have come to consider the matter”

Susan Burbridge Westminster Conservative Councillor

“Motorcycles, even small ones are more polluting than Hummers, it’s on the website, it’s on, if you look up the French it’s on there for you to see I didn’t make these, these are not my words, these are words that are in the survey. It maybe ridiculous, but that is there in the French survey, and this has been done in Paris”

Leith Penny Westminster Councils lead officer for Go Green issues

“It would appear disingenuous of us if at the end of the pilot we suddenly introduced a set of emissions related objectives in to the pilot which it had never been established to deliver. We would be setting up contradictory policy objectives for two parts of our parking policy, that relating to four wheels, and that relating to two wheels.”

Alan Bradley Westminster Conservative Councillor

“It isn’t a tax, it’s a charge”

Danney Chalkley Westminster Conservative Councillor

“We think it’s perfectly reasonable for us to levy a nominal charge”

Editors note: Levy = an imposing or collecting, as of a tax, by authority or force.

Chris Hodder British Motorcycle Federation Government Liaison

“This scheme has failed many times under the law, and continuing it knowingly is negligence and a failure of scrutiny.

Rupert D’Cruz Westminster Labour Councillor

“The greater concern here is this is the thin end of the wedge, it may start at £1.50 now but where will it be next year, but where will it be in five years time? Are we going to find it rising to £5 and onwards?”

Alan Bradley Westminster Conservative Councillor

“Surely better than doing that is to say, ‘this is just a warning’, in other words not to actually issue the ticket but to issue a warning”

Editors note: Cllr Bradley wanted the issuing of a note rather than a parking ticket for parking first offenders. Although recomended this was not adopted.

Angela Hooper Westminster Conservative Councillor

“I think when it comes to guidance on policy, residents have that opportunity every four years.”

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10 Comments

Ogri GrindstaffMay 29th, 2009 at 1:53 pm

“You can’t stop Bikers; You can’t stop the people!”

Although not used at the Scrutiny Committee Meeting (but at the Storming of City Hall)

this remains one of my favourite quotes from that particular London location.

LibertyMay 29th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

I believe that Kevin Goad (acting Head of Parking) also said that Motorcycle Only Bays in Zones E, F and G would also be given 24 hour a day protection against cars being able to use them, but this has also not appeared in the offerings by Councillor Chalkley.

Jason EddingsMay 29th, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Worse than schoolchildren in the playground.

I only hope that voters get wise to the ways of Wesminster Council working and the petty bias some councilors are more than happy to express, apprently on the voters behalf.

ResidentMay 29th, 2009 at 3:45 pm

I am horrified by some of the statements made by Conservative councillors. I know who I will NOT vote for in May 2010… Definitely NOT Batty Burbridge, Hooper, and Chalkley.

Joe PublicMay 29th, 2009 at 5:04 pm

I think a letter should be set to David Cameron pointing out the behavior of some of these Tory councillors.
How can they ignore common sense and the will of the residents and other users. It’s must be clear to everyone that more than enough money has been stolen from bikers to have paid for the few extra bays by now.

Paul MMMay 29th, 2009 at 6:22 pm

The Conservatives are a group of liars. Vote them out!

[...] The alarming thing is that the Council does not deny it. We are told that it’s not for the residents to make policy; we are ignored and cast aside (Cllr Angela Hooper 31st March 2009). [...]

RichardAugust 8th, 2009 at 12:15 am

For what it’s worth, I’ve written to Cameron twice pointing out the damage Chalkley & Co are doing to his party’s Image and suggesting that he expels them from the Party for acting against published Party Policy. All I’ve had back is the usual mealy mouthed platitudes about ‘not being able to interfere in local government’ etc.

V for Very pissed off residentNovember 11th, 2009 at 8:47 pm

The stupidity of the people running our councils is OUR fault. Lets get them out come election time and make a change in Westminster!

[...] of objection. Would he expect to tell his constituents that they should only have a say in policy once every four years. Would he mind imposing on the Runnymede residents a no cash parking scheme where they had to stand [...]

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