The High Court recently decided that Barnet Council had acted illegally in hiking the cost of residents permits in the CPZ area. The council yesterday issues a press release (see previous blog) detailing how residents can claim back their own money. The Barnet Eye is appalled at this attitude. Clearly readers of this blog will be well informed and will hopefully be reunited with their cash, but what about everyone else? The council are choosing to make people apply as a means of trying to hang on to as much cash as possible. Given that their policies have been declared illegal, this is highly immoral. The council has full details of everyone with a parking permit. They should simply send everyone a cheque for the full amount owed. Many people are struggling due to the economic woes of the country and this money would be more than welcome.
Of course they won't do this, because they are addicted to spending our cash. I also think that the council should pay interest and compensation to those affected. The council has a duty to ensure it acts within the law. If it doesn't, then it should suffer the consequences. I an not asking for a huge sum, just a token amount as an admission of wrongdoing. Now many people will say "but as their finances are already overstretched, surely that would only add to the councils economic woes and the taxpayer would have to fund it anyway". This is not necessarily the case. One would assume that the council would have taken out insurance against losing the case. There were huge potential losses. The sensible and prudent thing to do in such circumstances is to ensure that insurance is in place to cover these losses. Of course, if there was an unfeasably high risk of losing, then an insurer would not take on the risk, but in such a circumstance, surely the Council should not have contested the case?
The bottom line with this is that the council has extracted a huge, interest free loan from the people of Barnet who live in CPZ's. The council should repay this loan, no questions asked ASAP. To do anything else is simply compounding a crime against the people the Council are meant to look after.