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Is the duty of Westminster City Council really “to ensure that every penny counts”?

September 16, 2009

Earlier this year, Westminster City Council appointed Steer Davies Gleave to conduct an on-street survey to find out what motorists thought of the parking facilities in Westminster. According to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, 628 motorists were interviewed in six different locations across the Borough.

Of the 257 motorcyclists interviewed, 226 were opposed to charging for motorcycle parking (87.9%) and of the total of 628 motorists interviewed, 391 were opposed to charging for motorcycle parking (62.2%). So the vast majority of motorcyclists were against charging for motorcycle parking, and almost two thirds of the total population interviewed were also against charging for motorcycle parking.

Shame on Councillor Danny Chalkley who, without a doubt, would have loved to see the vast majority of motorcyclists and car drivers interviewed being in favour of his bike parking tax. He instead decided to ignore the results of this survey, along with the thousands of motorcyclists who had been protesting in the streets of Westminster, and went ahead with his ludicrous motorcycle parking tax. If Councillor Chalkley was working in France, he would by now be part of the history of the Council, as the public would have forced him to resign from his job, as a result of not meeting their expectations.

According to the FOI request, Westminster City Council paid Steer Davies Gleave £12,140 for this survey. £12,140 of taxpayers’ money totally wasted, as Danny Chalkley chose to ignore this survey and press on with his bike parking tax. £12,140 taken from Westminster residents via the council tax, taken from car drivers and motorcyclists via parking charges and fines to fund a totally ignored survey. How does this make us feel? It makes us feel totally disgusted, knowing that our hard earned money was wasted by a local authority, who pretended to listen to us but, behind our back, had decided to ignore us all completely.

In May 2009, the Leader of Westminster City Council, Councillor Colin Barrow, sent a letter to the West End Extra (a local Westminster newspaper) titled “Our duty is to ensure every penny counts”. Quoting Barrow’s own words: “the vast majority of local councillors do a brilliant job serving their local communities (…) working tirelessly on behalf of their local residents and businesses”. Ohhh touchy, these local councillors must be serving their local residents and businesses so well that they’ve managed to waste £12,140 of their money in an ignored survey, lose £17 million in failed Icelandic banks and £15 million in a failed CCTV system. And to help recover all these losses, the same local councillors have decided to make some easy money by stealth taxing motorcyclists for parking, when thousands of them have repetitively expressed their opposition to being charged for parking.

This is what Councillor Barrow describes as “every penny counts” and “serving local communities”! What kind of planet does this man live on?

Scrap the motorcycle parking tax, Barrow, instead of wasting your time making ridiculous statements and a fool of yourself!

Sources (click to view):-

FOI request

“Our duty is to ensure every penny counts” (West End Extra)

£15 million lost in failed CCTV system

£17 million lost in failed Icelandic banks


Please join and support the legal fight to get the bike parking tax in Westminster scrapped before it spreads all over the UK and the European Union. The next demonstration is on 30th September 2009, don’t miss it! For further details, visit

Soutenez et participez au proces dont le but 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. La prochaine manifestation aura lieu le 30 septembre 2009, ne la ratez pas! Pour plus d’informations, consultez


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