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Lost in translation

July 24, 2009

We made the point in one of our earlier posts titled “Blanche Neige in Westminster” that, although the French community is one of the largest foreign groups established in the United Kingdom (300,000+), Westminster City Council seem to have decided to ignore them completely by not offering any help at all in French. They have chosen instead to provide some (limited) assistance in other languages, namely Portuguese, Spanish, Bengali, Chinese and Arabic.

A Freedom of Information request revealed how much tax payers’ money was invested in providing help and information in each of the above languages. Details are as follows:-

Arabic – £165,273
Bengali – £75,879
Chinese – £10,023
Spanish – £9,622.41
Portuguese – £32,245

Although we don’t speak Bengali, we are amazed to notice that only one word in that language is displayed, which is অনুবাদ and yet £75,879 of tax payers’ money have been spent to provide help and information to the Bengali speaking community! By scrolling down the page, we notice that the Council is asking the question “was this useful”, answer “yes” or “no”. Well at least it’s been useful to us, we have been able to write a post to report the huge amount of public money spent, in return for a poor service that seems to be provided to the Bengali speaking community!

This is another reason why Westminster City Council seem to have such a huge appetite for money. £1 taken from each motorcyclist every day, which generates millions of pounds of revenue per annum, explains why this Council can afford wasting £75,879 worth of tax payers’ hard earned money. We believe that Conservative Councillor Danny Chalkley, the architect of the bike parking tax in Westminster, will never understand the value of money, and what it represents to the public.


Freedom of Information request

Westminster City Council – Bengali translation page

Westminster City Council – translations


Please join and support the campaign to get the bike parking tax in Westminster scrapped before it spreads all over the UK and the European Union. Visit

Soutenez et participez a la campagne dont la mission est de forcer la mairie de Westminster a supprimer la taxe de stationnement des deux-roues avant que le concept ne se propage a travers le Royaume-Uni et l’Union Europeenne. Consultez


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