A really big idea

Colin Barrow

Colin Barrow

A couple of weeks ago the not so lovable rogue leader of Westminster City Council , Colin Barrow stood up  to address an assortment of local government ‘experts’. His speech was an attempt to sell his listeners his version of the Coalitions Big Society idea.

Barrow used phrases such as ‘release the potential of our citizens’ to sugar coat the fact that all he was saying was that he wants ‘an army of volunteers’ to come forward to take up the slack left by the expected public sector worker redundancies.

We would think that most people would concede that there is room for some fat trimming to be had from most London boroughs. But wouldn’t it be refreshing in a week that Nutsville learns that Barrow is to appoint a £31,955 advisor, to help him with his ‘duties’, if the fat could be trimmed from the top down first.

Nutsvile has documented over the last two years the number of blunders made by some of Westminster’s most senior officers. One only has to recall the £1.1 million pounds lost in the bungled parking enforcement procurement (view here). But the award for potentially the most taxpayers money lost surely will go to Council officer Alastair Gilchrist, who under Barrows inept leadership looks very close to dragging not only Westminster Councils reputation further into the mire, but also put the British Government in the frame along side Westminster (view here).  Barrow looks set to make history, but not in the way he may have wanted.

Alastair Gilchrist

Alastair Gilchrist

So in what must be Barrows twilight months at Westminster we see him asking for an army of Westminster residents to give up their time for free to, as he says ‘develop a stronger sense of community responsibility’. Yes, the man that left his own company owing thousands in unpaid business rates to the very council he leads, wants to foster ‘stronger community responsibility’.

Under Barrows stewardship the Councils reputation has sunk so low that that the cracks we mentioned in earlier posts grew wider this month as even his fellow Conservative Councillors have shown their displeasure at Barrows mafia like control over Westminster (view here).

Just when Barrow needs an army of volunteers like never before, there’s an army already created as a direct result of one of the policies (Westminsters controversial bike parking tax, that he stubbornly refuses to drop), ready and willing to take on tin pot dictators like Barrow, and that army are even more stubborn that he is.

A group of volunteers from the No To Bike Parking Tax campaign group have come forward to help motorists who have had the misfortune to drive into the borough of Westminster. Those motorist will find an army of safety conscious bikers pointing out where the all to inconspicuous CCTV smart cars can be found lurking. After all the Home Office recommended good practice guide states ‘A good practice guide for the implementation of redeployable CCTV’ requires “Standard authorisation forms for each deployment – This needs to include reasons for the deployment, objectives and expected and actual outcomes, and tape logging procedures” Even Westminster’s own aims are stated as being “100% compliance with no penalties”, so therefore Nutsville hopes that with the help of the No To Bike Parking Tax riders, the Councils CCTV smart cars become only a deterrent, and not what many people suspect as merely revenue generating machines.

To join the No To volunteers (motorcycle not necessary) sign up on the campaign forum here, and join in with the community spirited bikers.

Now that really is a big idea!

Westminster Council say when referring to their CCTV cars:

The vehicles have Parking Identifier Boards which exempt parking on paid for parking places, resident bays, and single and double yellow lines. They may not park anywhere else and only obtain the exemption by means of carrying out a statutory function. The drivers have been properly trained and will park with the utmost care and attention to road safety and the highway code.”

This also seems to allow their scamera cars or any other council vehicle to use their exemption to do their shopping as the following video shows.

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grenouilleSeptember 16th, 2010 at 9:09 pm

They were warned that the bike parking tax would be like opening a can of worms. Colin Barrow will have to deal with the consequences. the wednesday Trafalgar Square protests are here to stay and the public is getting ever more supportive. The chasing of cctv cars is on saturdays for the time being but could spread. Bikers are a creative community and we are not short of legal ideas and we will make sure that the bike parking tax is just not worth it for Westminster council.

TwistedbikerSeptember 17th, 2010 at 7:45 am

Well done to Nutsville and the guys from NTBPT for getting the message out to the general public with the item shown on Watchdog last night!

Westminster listen up……we are not going away and the longer this goes on the worst it gets for you.

BillyBloggsSeptember 18th, 2010 at 10:00 am

I hope that driver gets a fine for parking. he was getting a butty, was he not, so was not on official duty, so ergo should not be exempt for that period of time. Keep up the good work Nutsville exposing these twonks.

Gordon861September 20th, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Just a copy of our video from the 18th September, including a conversation with the police that OK’d our bit of public service with a “Have a good day”. Throughtout the day we were getting beeps and thumbs up from the pedestrians and drivers, one cab driver show me hist ticket from WCC and suggested that we needed spray guns. In all I think WCC lost about a days worth of ticketing due to not being willing to be filmed whilst doing their job, surely if what they are doing it moral and legal they would’t have any problem being watched doing it, by driving off and trying to ply their trade in private it does seem to imply that they are doing something wrong.

edenphilSeptember 21st, 2010 at 1:53 am

fantastic, well done guys thats taking the fight to em

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