Just another lying politician

On the 7th of July 2011 Councillor Lee Rowley attended a public meeting to put across Westminster Council’s reasons to introduce Sunday and weekday evening extended parking charges. Rowley stood before the alter and addressed the public thus “The Council is not allowed to use parking to raise revenue, if you find us doing it take it to the Police and then you can see whether I’m prosecuted or not”.

Rowley may just have his claims that Westminster Council is not using the almost universally unwanted parking charges to fill a £7million black hole in the parking budget proved wrong.

Documents recently discovered show that Councillor Lee Rowley is not only aware of his parking department using enforcement to raise revenue but it is also part of a businesses case to do so.

“Please don’t strike me down Oh Lord”

“Please don’t strike me down Oh Lord”

In 2009 Lee Rowley was the Chairman of a committee which produced the Orwellian named ‘Surveillance in Westminster’ report (download report here). Backed up by fellow side kick Councillor Nickie Aiken the report reveals the pair had full knowledge of the revenue raising aspect to CCTV parking enforcement:

Page 13 Revenue

“2.12 The only council department which uses CCTV directly for revenue generation is Parking. The Task Group therefore investigated the original business plan underpinning the use of wireless cameras for issuing Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs).”

The report goes on to state;

“The original business case for the installation of wireless cameras projected 150 cameras each issuing 30 tickets per month. This therefore implied an estimate of 54,000 PCNs per annum being issued through the wireless network.”

“2.14 Whilst acknowledging the revenue generated by PCNs, the Task Group- received considerable evidence that the use of CCTV for parking enforcement has had a negative impact on the Council’s reputation, despite generating only 18% of PCNs, and could be considered to be failing the “does CCTV affect perceptions positively” test in “An Eye for the Future”.”

If Cllr Rowley is prepared to stand up in Church and be so disingenuous before a Church congregation just how much credibility can ever be given to anything that Cllr Rowley says in future. Of course it must be noted that when Cllr Rowley admitted to revenue generation from parking he was not then the Cabinet member for parking and transportation.

Nutsville has also learnt that Westminster Council have bungled the introduction of the extended parking charges, and been forced to put back the date of their introduction from 1st December 2011 until 9th January 2012. No doubt the Council will try to spin this to say they are considering the impact a December start would have on Christmas shoppers, but we understand that the Council did not allow the statutory time for consultation for the extended parking hours.

We think it’s time Lee Rowley skulked off back to the less complicated Customer Services department and allow Westminster Council to appoint someone more competent in parking revenue generation.

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3 Comments

AnonOctober 11th, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Oh dear oh dear methinks the Cllr doth protest too much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mark SaundersOctober 11th, 2011 at 3:05 pm

To be fair, the lie that he told was that the Council isn’t allowed to use parking [charges] to raise revenue.

Oh, I know what’s on the statute book, but as the Court of Appeals held, they *are* allowed to do it. They’re even allowed to say quite openly that they do it, to budget for it, and to raise as much as they like. All that they have to do is to *say* that the *primary* purpose is traffic management. They don’t even have to show it, they just have to say it. Even if they have no studies to back it up, even if they can show no reduction in traffic or congestion after the charging, they just say “traffic management” and the whole problem goes away.

Sorry to bang on, but you can hardly expect the likes of Rowley to take issue with their Lord and Ladyships’ decree that councils “should” be allowed to charge whatever they like for whatever they like, can you?

Green ParakeetOctober 12th, 2011 at 10:52 am

@ Mark Saunders: Whichever way you spin it he’s a liar (as you concede) and he’s been caught bang at it. If Nuts are wrong about that fact I’m sure they will be contacted by Rowley’s lawyers in the very near future with threats of a libel action and demands that this article is taken down immediately.

If Nuts is not contacted, it will be a testament to the proposition that Rowley is in fact, just another lying politician. Let’s see him spin his way out of that.

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