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“I strongly urge you to desist from actions which damage the West End economy”, how sweet, Danny!

February 8, 2010

In March 2009, Westminster Tory councillor Danny Chalkley addressed an open letter to Warren Djanogly, Chairman of the No To Bike Parking Tax campaign, to ask him to cancel the protest ride that took place on 31st March 2009, which was attended by more than 5,000 motorcyclists and their supporters. This particular demonstration was the largest ever seen by Westminster City Council, according to the response to a Freedom of Information request from the Metropolitan Police. Below is an extract from Chalkley’s letter to Warren Djanogly:-

“I strongly urge you to desist from actions which damage the West End economy. Your recent protest hindered hard pressed retailers and caused delay and inconvenience on many transport routes. These are not the actions of a responsible group. I call on you to cancel your protest ride on 31st March, which will inevitably delay Londoners seeking to go about their business, many on their journey home” (click here to view the full letter).

Less than a year later, the same Tory Councillor Danny Chalkley announces his proposal to extend parking control hours in the West End from 6.30pm to midnight, Monday to Saturday. But this proposal, in Chalkley’s mind, doesn’t have any impact at all on “Londoners seeking to go about their business”, nor will it affect “many on their journey home”, does it? Of course not, come on, since Chalkley has given himself the benefit of a free Westminster wide parking permit, so why would he care about thousands of Londoners going out in the West End in the evening and having to pay up to £25 extra in parking charges?

Well, last week, The Stage announced that Chalkley’s ludicrous proposal could cost West End theatres up to £70 million in lost ticket sales, but of course, this doesn’t damage the West End economy at all, because what counts for Chalkley is that he gets £7 million additional income in the pocket to help with Westminster Council’s massive £22 million budget overspend resulting from the Tories’ inability to manage the finances of the wealthiest council in the United Kingdom.

According to The Stage, Nica Burns, SOLT president and chief executive of Nimax Theatres, said that it was very unlikely that those currently going to the theatre by car would switch to public transport, so they will most likely be put off going to the theatre all together, resulting in massive losses and potential redundancies in the theatre industry. This is obviously not surprising as, according to The Stage, 16% of theatregoers use their cars and 90% of ticket revenue is generated within Westminster, hence a loss of more than £70 million would be made should Chalkley’s selfish proposals went ahead. Not to mention of course the thousands of motorcyclists who have already been put off Westminster because of Chalkley’s bike parking tax, for which he has totally – and delibarately – ignored more than 3,000 objections, simply because he is obsessed with revenue raising to cope with the £15 million worth of taxpayers’ money he lost in a failed CCTV system last year.

So we think that Westminster Councillor Danny Chalkley should be the last person to give lessons on what activities do or don’t damage the West End economy, because whatever he does or decides to do, seems to piss off everyone at the moment. According to the West End Extra, he’s become a “hate figure”!

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Further reading (click to view):-

Chalkley’s PR boob

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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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2 Comments
  1. UK France Bikers permalink

    En mars 2009, le conseiller muncipal conservateur Danny Chalkley de la mairie de Westminster (centre de Londres) a envoye une lettre a Warren Djanogly, qui est la tete de la campagne de manifestations “No To Bike Parking Tax”. Cette lettre avait pour but de demander a Warren d’annuler la manifestation contre la taxe de stationnement des deux roues motorises, instauree par Chalkley, et qui a eu lieu le 31 mars 2009. Dans sa lettre, Chalkley declare etre inquiet des consequences de la manifestation sur l’economie londonienne qui, par les bouchons qu’elle occasionnerait, aurait un impact negatif sur les affaires de milliers de londoniens et les empecherait de rentrer chez eux pendant l’heure de pointe.

    Moins d’un an plus tard, le meme Chalkley annonce son intention de faire payer le stationnement des voitures tous les soirs (du lundi au samedi), alors que le stationnement en soiree a toujours ete gratuit jusqu’a present. Les theatres du centre de Londres se sont mobilises et ont annonce a leur tour que si le stationnement payant etait instaure en soiree, cela pourrait generer 70 millions de livres de pertes pour l’industrie theatrale, alors que le stationnement payant nocturne apporterait un revenu total de 7 millions de livres supplementaires a la mairie par an.

    Nous avons simplement rapproche la lettre de Chalkley avec ses actions recentes qui sont radicalement opposees. D’un cote, il demande a un groupe de motocyclistes, opposes au stationnement payant des deux roues, d’annuler leur manifestation de peur de causer des pertes dans le centre de Londres et de gener l’emploi du temps de milliers de londoniens, et d’un autre, il annonce la possible introduction du stationnement payant des voitures le soir, ce qui genererait des pertes enormes pour les theatres londoniens, de l’ordre de 70 millions de livres!

    Bref, sans commentaires…

  2. david hingamp permalink

    To you all retailers,
    I have been supporting Westminster retailers since I have lived in London. I used to do quick stops for lunch, do a little shopping on my breaks at Selfridges or Oxford Street if needed, had a regular cut at my barbers behind St Christopher’s Place, went to see the art exhibitions in Mayfair or Portland Place etc…
    I have now decided to stop parking in Westminster and spending my money at local retailers. If my lunch costs £7 today, I do not want it to become £8.50 tomorrow and much much more in the coming years as it is obviously suspected that the charges will go up very fast.
    So All I’m saying to retailers (and there are thousands of scooter users in London who think like me) is that without you protesting publicly against Wesminster’s new stealth tax, you will clearly lose business in a time when every customer and every penny counts.
    If you and us all protest together and put pressure on Westminster and the conservative party where Mr Cameron assured us that they would not bring in new taxes, we can win this fight!

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