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How Westminster City Council measure success

November 3, 2009

While visiting the public Freedom of Information (FOI) submission website, we came across an FOI request asking for the following:-

“I require a full and complete copy of the standards used by WCC [Westminster City Council] to judge whether or not the imposed motorcycle parking experiment is a success or a failure”.

Below is Westminster City Council’s response:-

“There is no such document that exists, with which standards of the motorcycle parking charge can be weighed against success or failure of the scheme (…) I can however advise you that the success of the scheme has been assessed throughout the process and has been summarised in the various Cabinet Member reports”.

So first of all, Westminster City Council don’t have any qualitative and quantitative criteria in place to measure the success or failure of their schemes. So in other words, they can introduce any scheme they like, it’s never a problem, it will always be successful in their own mind. A peace of mind strategy is what this is called. These bureaucrates should consider themselves very lucky to work in the public sector, because if they were working in the private sector, where success or failure of new products, schemes and strategies is an essential factor to consider in decision-making, they would all be fired within a week with such a ridiculous policy.

We wonder whether Westminster City Council’s Finance department employs management accountants to prepare investment appraisals for their schemes, aimed at determining whether they are financially profitable or loss-making, and also at considering the wider implications such as public acceptance and image of the Council. All this sounds like a foreign language for Westminster City Council, where Mr Fitsall (parking officer) seems to be employed to brain wash all the Conservative Councillors on how successful the scheme is in his own little world. 

While reading Mr Fitsall’s reports, we actually spend more time spotting the grammatical and spelling mistakes than trying to understand what he’s actually talking about. The latest motorcycle report (published on 1st October 2009) not only contains grammatical and spelling errors, but also doesn’t include any investment appraisal of any kind. It is simply a piece of toilet paper that describes facts, without any pertinent analysis. If this is a document that reflects the analytical skills of public sector workers, then perhaps we should think about transferring into the public sector to have an easy job and make easy money.

What we have found astonishing in Westminster City Council’s response above is their arrogant attitude to immediately describe their motorcycle parking tax as a success. Success on what basis? They have no assessement criteria in place, so how can this tax be automatically considered as a success? Oh, it has actually been successful in one way, that is to piss off thousands of motorcyclists in the past 15 months, who have been invading and blocking the streets of Westminster, sending individual objections to the council, submitting FOI requests designed to uncover an incredible amount of dirt and enquiring about the irregularities and potential breach of EU and Local Government rules on procurement of the Verrus pay by phone parking system and NSL contracts, all of which will enable the No To Bike Parking Tax campaign to lauch a legal challenge against Westminster City Council’s parking department, should the tax be made permanent.

That is how the bike parking tax has been successful, by causing massive embarrassment to its architects and pissing off the UK motorcyclist community. Great result, isn’t it?


Source (click to view):-


Campaign logoPlease 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. 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. Pour plus d’informations, consultez


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