Totally worthless fake promises from Westminster Council’s leader

Colin Barrow

Reverse Ferret of the year - Colin Barrow

In just one week the leader of Westminster City Council, Colin Barrow has ended his self-proclaimed “period of reflection” and decided to do away with hundreds of single yellow line parking spaces (Evening Standard source).

Westminster Council has this afternoon announced that it has decided to convert 1,191 single yellow line parking spaces in the West End to double yellow lines in January, thereby making it illegal to park at any time. The announcement, made at 3.30pm on 23rd December, comes just a week after the High Court ordered Westminster to halt plans to impose evening and Sunday parking charges in the West End on 9th January until the Judicial Review was heard in March. The High Court judgment specifically criticised the Council’s consultations and made it clear that the new parking charges would damage businesses and their employees. Westminster Council subsequently announced that it would ‘listen’ to West End residents, business and their staff and would not introduce the new charges until September 2012, after the Olympic Games. Now, those promises have turned out to be totally worthless. (Download council report here)

The permanent loss of the 1,200 West End parking spaces will force many West End evening visitors and people working in West End theatres, restaurants, clubs, casinos to pay up to £20 a night to park on a parking meter bay or car park, thereby adding to the cost of visiting or working in the West End. A research study undertaken by the Centre for Economics and Business Research concluded that the Council’s parking charges, which would raise the Council an extra £7 million a year, could cost businesses up to £800 million and threaten 5,100 jobs.

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;

This is an outrageous decision to take just hours before the Council closes for Christmas. The arrogance of Westminster’s Conservative leaders knows no bounds. They will listen to nobody and are even trying to get round a High Court judgment. This is the unwanted ‘Christmas present’ for the West End

The removal of so many single yellow line parking spaces in the West End will effectively force many visitors and staff working in the West End evening economy to pay up to £20 a night extra. This is a back door way of introducing the parking charges and there must be a question if the Council is in contempt of court.”

Removing 1,200 single yellow lines is not about making it safer for pedestrians or drivers, but it is all about reducing free parking spaces and thereby raising extra money for a Council that is in deep financial difficulties“.

Colin Barrow’s decision was made after he had just won the aptly named ‘REVERSE FERRET AWARD’ in the end of the year Private Eye Magazine awards.

You just couldn’t make this stuff up!

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1 Comment

BillyBloggsDecember 25th, 2011 at 7:54 am

This is getting attention on the Independent site here:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/council-parking-row-over-tax-on-nightlife-6281348.html

Why even the Cllr Lee Rowley has posted comments defending his shark like behaviour

Kick the greedy swine in the goolies.

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