Westminster City Council had no intention of making parking revenue neutral.

How many times have you be told by Westminster City Council that charging motorcycles and scooters to park on the streets of Westminster was designed to be revenue-neutral. We think quite a lot, it says so on the WCC website in the councils Motorcycle Parking Policy, even the once head of parking, Alastair Gilchrist was happy to go on camera to say it, in an effort to con riders into accepting the scheme. But before Alastair got the job, Westminster were on the hunt for an  interim director of parking. They used a recruitment company called Brooklands Executives Ltd to find them Stephen Lawrenson. Brooklands are keen to show off their find and describe their dealings with Westminster as one of their case studies. But they rather let the cat out of the bag in telling the world about how much Westminster City Council liked Stephen Lawrenson so much they kept him on to set up Partnerships in Parking (PiP).

“At the end of the interim contract, when a permanent Director of Parking Services had been found, Westminster reappointed Stephen with a new assignment leading a partnership of central London councils aiming to improve parking products and services. This will include outsourcing to other authorities – a unique project redefining a Council operation as a commercial, revenue-generating business.”

Stephen doesn’t come cheap either, here is just one example from an invoice for Partnerships in Parking:

Claim for Partnerships in Parking Programme Management, period of claim October to December 2006, Stephen Lawrenson £1,168.50 per day, Total 57 days x £1,168.50 =£66,604.50

The current members of Partnerships in Parking are:

City of Westminster, Transport for London, LB Camden, City of London, LB Islington, LB Lambeth,  RB Kensington & Chelsea, LB Enfield. LB Richmond and Hackney. But PiP are keen to have any council in the UK join them, so if the charging for bikes scheme is not scrapped in Westminster perhaps your borough will want a slice of this not so revenue neutral cake. In a  Society of Information Technology Management document Partnerships in Parking say:

“A pilot for information sharing between councils in Project 4 uses a web-based system work to consolidate motorcycle policies will lead to better harmonisation of feedback to action groups”

So is it any wonder that Westminster City Council would rather break the law than answer this simple FOI request: How are the charges for parking motorcycles “revenue neutral”?

Sources:

Brooklands Executives Limited cases studies (cached copy)

Society of Information Technology Management document

Sample of WCC invoices to pay for PiP

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4 Comments

MrCJuly 27th, 2009 at 9:55 am

My fear is not wether it is revenue nutral but wether they intend to stop people commuting by bike through out the contry!

John in CamdenJuly 29th, 2009 at 2:45 pm

If they could go worldwide with this they would!

[...] Nuts: WCC, PiP, Lawrenson and lies over financial neutrality of parking. [...]

[...] find out why WCC submitted invoices to the London Centre of Excellence (LCE) for the work of their Stephen Lawrenson amounting to in excess of £650,000. This money just happened to be approved by the LCE’s, Mr [...]

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