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Councillor Chalkley’s latest desparate attempt to rescue a broken council

January 20, 2010

We have today found out that Councillor Danny Chalkley, in charge of parking at Westminster Council, has plans to charge motorists up to £5 per hour between 6.30pm and midnight from Monday to Saturday, although parking on these days and between these times is currently free of charge.

According to today’s BBC London broadcast, which you can watch below, Westminster’s books currently show a total overspend of £22 million compared with budget. But considering the Council’s extremely poor ability to control and manage costs, Councillor Chalkley dares to advise that his proposed extended parking control hours are not to balance the Council’s books! This man really treats the public he’s been elected to serve like idiots, doesn’t he?

Here is a laughable extract taken from today’s BBC London broadcast with Councillor Chalkley:-

Interviewer: “You’re doing this to balance your books, aren’t you?”

Chalkley’s response: “No, it’s not correct that we’re doing this to revenue raise [although the proposal report clearly states that Westminster Council currently has a £22 million overspend compared with budget, per the BBC broadcast]. We’re doing this from a policy perspective because we want to manage the city and keep the streets of Westminster running freely”.

UK France Bikers.com thinks that Chalkley is doing this purely because he’s never been more desparate to find and implement policies designed to address the Council’s enormous financial gap in a view to boosting his political career. But, in our opinion, he doesn’t realise that, with Westminster Council elections taking place in four months time, he may well be losing thousands of votes, thus seriously compromise his potential re-election.

It should be noted that Councillor Chalkley, together with 30 of his fellow Conservative Councillors, have decided (behind the back of the public, of course) to give themselves the benefit of an official free parking permit all over Westminster. Although these guys are not supposed to use their free permit outside their official hours of duty, a Freedom of Information request revealed that 18 of them do use it 24/7 and are therefore in breach of the Council’s internal parking policy, as they may have delibarately not purchased a resident parking permit for their personal use. So why would Chalkley care about extending parking control hours in the evenings since he may park his car free of charge while taking his family out to restaurants, cinemas and theatres?

While he’s unlikely to be criticised by his fellow Council Conservative colleagues, who also hold a free parking permit, it appears that, according to BBC London, a large number of businesses operating in the evenings (restaurants, cinemas, theatres etc) are prepared to fight against Chalkley’s ludicrous proposals.

We must say that we are very much amused to hear Chalkley’s proposals today, while his parking operations are being investigated by the European Commission (case number SG-CDC-2008A-7695) and Office of Fair Trading (case number EPIC/ENQ/E/75795) following a series of suspicions that the Verrus pay-by-phone technology may have been implemented illegally in Westminster. If those suspicions are proved to be right, the entire Westminster pay-by-phone parking network provided by Verrus may well have to go.

We are glad to realise that motorcyclists are not the only group of citizens angry at Chalkley. It looks like he’s seriously annoying everyone at the moment, including car drivers, bikers, theatres, restaurants, shops, cinemas, who are all prepared to fight against his ridiculous proposals.

After announcing the permanence of the motorcycle parking stealth tax and the possible extension of controlled parking hours for motorists after 6.30pm, what’s coming next? Be careful, cyclists, you may well be next on the agenda of this broken Conservative Council.

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Further reading:

BBC – London council “misleading” over “illegal parking plan”

BBC – Westminster Council parking plan designed to net £7m

Nutsville – Councillor Chalkley a broken and desparate man

Crossroads Rider – Record depths reached

PenaltyChargeNotice – Parking charges until midnight

Evening Standard – Westminster to ban free parking in the evening

Londonist – Westminster parking plan illegal

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Please join and support the campaign to stop Westminster Council from stealth taxing motorcyclists to park before their scheme spreads all over the UK and the rest of Europe. For further details, visit http://www.notobikeparkingtax.com/

Rejoignez le groupe de manifestants contre le stationnement payant des motocyclistes a Westminster avant que cela ne se propage dans le reste du Royaume-Uni et l’Union Europeenne. Pour plus d’informations, consultez http://www.notobikeparkingtax.com/

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If you have a story you would like to see published on UK France Bikers.com, please contact us here.

Si vous avez une experience a partager et que vous souhaiteriez voir publiee sur UK France Bikers.com, n’hesitez pas a nous contacter en cliquant ici.

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4 Comments
  1. Ogri permalink

    I’m guessing the mini-cabs (not black taxis) who line every street in the West End aren’t going to be too happy about this. But then, I suppose they’ll just pass on the extra cost to their customers.

    Or will the CEOs continue to turn a blind eye to the mini-cabs, as the black-cab drivers say they do ?

  2. Tony Blair permalink

    they will do anything to keep the council tax one of the lowest in the country, so expect anything !
    £5 is the ne £1 so expect to have to pay £5 next year to park a bike in Westminster.

  3. 1frog permalink

    I think Westminster Council is bankrupt, such desparate measures could only be justified by desparate people in desparate situations.

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