Public say they’re disgusted with Westminster Councils dishonest parking department

A new video has been published on YouTube today which we think clearly shows the despicable dirty tricks a ruthless gang of thugs are using to mug the public, with the streets of Westminster as their hunting grounds.

For some weeks now an increasing number of volunteers have been taking to the streets of Westminster to highlight what must be one of the biggest cases of fraudulent activity taking place in Britain today.

The volunteers named the NoToMob. A racket which the main lead council was once held up as a model borough, one which other councils were encouraged to follow. Follow they did, with many other London boroughs now dragged into one of the most expensive contract procurement attempted cover-ups this country will ever see.

The NTBPT first formed when Westminster Council got just a little too greedy, and decided to put the squeeze on the wrong minority group. Now that group are biting the council back and biting hard, after the council assumed they were just another group of road users who would grumble a little but in the end just accept a new tax to park their bikes and scooters on the streets of Westminster.

For months the NTBPT group have held weekly Wednesday morning processions around Trafalgar Square, which they call the Wednesday Morning Breakfast Club (WMBC). Having exhausted all the usual methods of objection, the riders now being taxed multiple times just like a car, decided to ride their bikes just as if they were cars. This simple tactic soon causes long tail backs in all the surrounding roads. It wasn’t long before the WMBC had the desired effect with Mayor Boris Johnson making a planned appearance in the Square to wobble around on his bicycle and shout at as many riders as he could telling them in his London the right to protest and democracy was now over. Boris must have thought he was on to a winner, as at that time about half of the public were not shy in joining in the abuse thrown at the bikers, almost breaking into a chorus of “it’s only a pound”.

But there was worse to come, with Boris bringing in his own police force to issue as many fines as they could, but only to motorbikes. Boris’s police actively tried to encourage other motorist to run over the bikers, yet every week those bikers came back for more, because they knew this was about much more than just a £1.

Westminster Council also played their part along with Transport for London, and went on a smear campaign, hoping to play on that tired old media stereo type of bikers. But Westminster’s press department are not yet as good at smearing as Anchor Spreadable is.

With the WMBC a regular central London fixture, now joined by the Wednesday evening demo (WESC) the bikers have brought in their next phase of opening the publics eyes to Britain’s great parking swindle, the NoToMob.

How often have you seen some smug taxpayer funded council jobs worth regurgitating the same old well rehearsed mantras about parking enforcement being about traffic management? With the ever spreading crop of CCTV cameras being for our safety and to fight crime, they repeatedly say it with almost a straight face.

Here’s where it’s going to get interesting, because the NoToMob are forcing Westminster Council to put their money where their mouth is, and prove that it’s not all about making money for the shareholders of the private companies that provide the CCTV cameras, run the army of rude poorly trained traffic wardens and even operate the private mercenaries the Council like to call bailiffs.

Most despised of all the new technology used to dip in to the wallets of all motorist are CCTV smart cars, which the NoToMob nick named $cameras. These little cars run around the streets of many a London borough, often supplied by the same company, NSL Services, the same company that supply the councils with oh so polite civil enforcement officers.

Now the councils would have you believe that the CCTV scamera cars are meant to be a deterrent, and Councils would much rather not issue any Penalty Charge Notices, Yes they truly would have you believe the aim of this multimillion pound parking game is 100% compliance with all the rules and regulations that the Councils have created over the years.

So the NoToMob are giving up their time to help the CCTV scamera cars, by making it really clear to passing motorist where the CCTV scamera car is and what moving traffic contravention mistake the motorists needs to avoid.

So the first thing the NoToMob needed to know is where the scamera car is going to be. Luckily the Home Office’s ‘A good practice guide for the implementation of re-deployable 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” So NSL Service,s the Councils contractor, must be sending these to the Council. But the Council, when asked had no idea if they had such records and promptly passed the buck back to NSL Services, naming NSL’s Simon Green, but oh dear he didn’t understand the question. But he’s asked again using even more basic English, and again and again. Then he does reply, but only to say he’s going on holiday.

Simon Green comes back from his holidays, and with no time to shake the sand from his flip flops he’s reminded he has letter to reply to. He’s reminded again and again, but still nothing.

Meanwhile  the NoToMob have also asked Councillor Lee Rowley Cabinet Member for Parking and Transportation, he finally does reply, but he cannot possibly say where the scamera car is going to be, because it’s mobile you see. Meaning it has wheels and unfortunately that means it can move around, which means how could anyone know where something that moves around would be. But he did think it would be somewhere in Westminster, and offered a Westminster booklet with a map in it, but forgot to include a pin. (see also WALTHAM FOREST: Council to publish CCTV car locations )

Westminsters CCTV scamera cars seem to be creatures of habit, as they return day after day to the same junctions. That is until the NoToMob arrive to help point out to passing motorists where the scamera car is hiding. Then more often than not all the guff about keeping the streets safe and a deterrent disappears in a puff of smoke as the expensive CCTV scamera car will speed all the way back to White City (even through red lights) and stay shivering in it’s pound for hours on end.

So how much do you think it costs Westminster Council each month for one of those scamera cars? Ten grand a month, twenty, no you need to go higher, higher Bruce baby. Get yourself a cup of sweet tea, sit down and then download this top secret (opps) NSL invoice sent to Westminster Council. (Download PDF invoice here). Those little cars must have to do an awful lot of deterring to get that money back, especially as Westminster are expanding the fleet of scamera cars this year.

You wouldn’t think Westminster would need more CCTV with all those unsightly fixed CCTV cameras every few metres. How many CCTV cameras do you think Westminster Council have access to, 200, nope higher, 300, no you must have believed that little map of CCTV locations Westminster openly publish.

According to the April 2009 Draft Findings of a Survey for Westminster’s Orwellian sounding Surveillance Task Group ‘they’ have access to in excess of 800 CCTV cameras.

But not to worry, it’s for our safety isn’t it, and yes here comes the ‘terrorism’ word again, here’s the skinny on what the majority of CCTV is used for in Westminster:

Primary Use of CCTV

The key use tended to be for crime and disorder reduction including counter terrorism, preventing crime, reducing the fear of crime and acting as a deterrent in Council-run facilities (such as leisure facilities and libraries).

Other uses focussed on parking enforcement, city management

Number of Cameras / Fixed or Wireless

The responses by departments received suggested the City Council has access to or directly operates in excess of 800 CCTV cameras.  Around 75% of these cameras are fixed with Parking the only internal Council department who use wireless cameras.

In addition to the c800 cameras identified to date, CityWest Homes operate another 235 overt cameras of which 225 are fixed with the rest wireless.

Estimate of Overall Costs Incurred by Department in Operating CCTV Systems

The responses by departments suggests around £5m per annum spent in operating systems, with over 90% made up of costs incurred by Parking (which includes the operation of the wireless network) and Community Protection.  CityWest Homes wireless cameras are provided through Vertex at around £50,000 per annum.

Who wants to make themselves look a tit and go and tell those bikers riding around Trafalgar Square ‘it’s only a pound’ now then?

What are the likes of Rowley, Kevin Goad, Colin Barrow etc going to do about it, do you think they will change and stop talking to the public as if they’re children, or just carry on as normal, looking after themselves and a few lucky shareholders of Westminster’s hand picked private companies.

It looks like the next thing Westminster is going to do is have a party, and you can come. Because on Thursday 21st October 2010 there is going to be a West End Area Forum at the Design Council, 34 Bow Street, where you can meet those wonderful people from NSL Services to talk about what a super job they are doing in Westminster. You might also get to meet vastly under paid Council officer Martin Low, you remember him, the chap who stood smirking on the steps of the Northumberland Hotel because rogue Council Leader Colin Barrow was blowing £20,000 of taxpayers cash on a slap up dinner for hard working Council officers.

You don’t need to book in advance, you just need to work, live or learn in either the St James or West End Wards, or know a friend who does. (download more details of this party)

There’s even going to be food and drink laid on, so those who can keep very quiet stand a good chance of seeing the rare Frixos Tombolis grazing over a small plate of cucumber sandwiches.

Careful though, he’s easily spooked, by difficult questions.

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