So I've just returned from watching my son perform at Finchley Music Centre for the end of term concert. Very good it was too. More of that later. The problems started when we got home. Now I live in Millway, just off Mill Hill Broadway. As you will probably know if you are a regular reader or a resident of Barnet, the council recently abolished pay and display parking. So what effect has this had? Well now the minimum charge is £1 and you have to either pay by phone or locate a shop which has the paypoint system. How is it working?
Well there are certainly loads of spaces in the Broadway now. You see people aren't stupid, they don't like being mugged. So where are they going? Traders say there has been a huge drop off in sales. The ones who are parking, seem to be finding spaces in sidestreets where you don't have to pay a penny. Today was the first time I'd really seen this in action. In our road, there is nowhere to park for residents. Saturday was never great, but cars are driving round and round looking for spaces, sometimes just stopping in the road and waiting. I had a very interesting conversation with the bloke from OCADO dropping off the groceries about the parking. He spends his day driving around Barnet. His verdict - "mayhem".
As reported here yesterday, we have a Leader who is a statue - he "listens but can do nothing". We have a head of parking in Brian Coleman, who won't answer his emails and clearly doesn't give a stuff about the traders (a rather stupid move as many are natural Conservatives). Not only that, but we're seeing a huge drop in parking revenues, as people park where it's free and walk a bit further or don't park at all. Sooner or later, they'll have to make up this shortfall and introduce even more stealth taxes. The whole situation is out of hand.
In short we have a new form of local government - an Idiocracy. Don't Call Me Dave published a blog when Mike Freer quit as Leader of Barnet Council, to be replaced by Lynne Hillan. He stated that bad as Freer was, he wouldn't be the worst ever leader of Barnet Council, because this would be Lynne Hillan. I wonder if he'd care to update his opinion today?
Don't forget, you will have your opportunity to tell Barnet Council what you think of their parking scheme at the GLA elections in May, when Brian Coleman, the man who has brought the changes in, stands again for his £50,000 a year part time job. Democracy isn't perfect, but it does offer the odd opportunity such as this to let these idiots know what we think of them and to hit the, in the pocket. Don't waste this opportunity