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Westminster City Council under investigation from every corner

March 5, 2010

At a time when the UK local and general elections are fast approaching, and while the Conservatives are trying hard to secure their win against Labour, Conservative lead Westminster City Council is being investigated from every corner, within as well as outside of the UK.

We wonder which body has not yet started an investigation into Westminster City Council’s parking department. The European Commission, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), the Metropolitan Police, the Department of Communities & Local Government (DCLG), the High Court of Justice, the Information Commission and the Local Government Ombudsman are all investigating Westminster City Council in one way or another.

It should be noted that almost every investigation has been launched as a result of Councillor Danny Chalkley pushing through a highly unpopular and controversal motorcycle parking tax, despite the thousands of written and official objections that he received during the experimental phase of the scheme. Also, because Westminster’s parking officers have published a series of reports full of inconsistencies, errors and incorrect assumptions in a view to misleading the public and pushing through Chalkley’s bike parking tax without appropriate justification, the No To Bike Parking Tax campaign lodged last week an official complaint against Westminster City Council with the High Court of Justice. The complaint is about a motorcycle parking scheme for which the prime objective is to raise revenue and make a profit. It is illegal in the United Kingdom to implement parking schemes in order to make profits, and this is exactly what the No To Bike Parking Tax campaigners believe the Conservatives in Westminster have done. You can download a copy of the case presented by Warren Djanogly, Chairman of the campaign, against Westminster City Council by clicking here.

What UK France Bikers find most exciting is the on-going Police investigation against two senior officers employed by Westminster City Council. Although we know who they are, we cannot publish their names yet, as much as we would love to. But one thing for sure is that one of these guys is highly qualified, and someone equiped with such a high profile and professional background is not expected to carry out activities that are suspected to have been pure fraud. You can click here for more information about what this is all about.

We have learned today from the BBC that the European Commission is definitely investigating the Westminster lead Partnerships in Parking (PiP) scheme, which consists of encouraging other councils throughout the United Kingdom to adopt the Verrus cashless parking system, in exchange for a nice and comfortable fee payable to Westminster City Council. Although this all sounds like a good idea in principle, as it would harmonise all the parking regulations and systems across the country, PiP encourages councils to adopt the Verrus pay-by-phone parking system without giving an opportunity to other organisations to present their products and services, thus allowing fair competition between companies across the European Union. All contracts costing more than £156,442 must be opened to tender to enable fair competition between businesses, and it is alleged that the PiP scheme is precisely failing to do this.

We wonder why the PiP architect, Alastair Gilchrist, cancelled the presentation he was scheduled to give this week at the ParkEx exhibition in London and for which the purpose was to show everyone how fantastic his PiP scheme was. Could it be that Alastair realised that PiP was not that good after all or is he so scared of the EU Commissioners that he lost his bottle? Oh, poor Alastair, we are so sorry for him (we are not…), he might have wasted more than £600,000 of taxpayers’ money in setting up his PiP scheme that could well have to be scrapped sooner rather than later! Will this ruin his relationship with the Verrus shareholders who he has been so keen to keep wealthy? Well maybe, but after all, do we care? No we don’t, as other councils will not be given an easy method to stealth tax motorcycles for parking.

So with Conservative lead Westminster City Council being the biggest, wealthiest and supposingly most prestigious local authority in the UK, how does David Cameron feel with all these allegations and investigations against senior members of his own political party? He has so far said that the motorcycle parking tax is a local issue and has got nothing to do with him. But how local is it really, since the national and international press is floaded with negative articles about the activities that his local boys have been carrying out in Westminster. It is time for David Cameron to come out of Millbank and have a word with his Westminster colleagues, if he doesn’t want to see a potential disaster for his party at the local and general elections later this year.

If only Councillor Chalkley had listened to the thousands of bikers who objected to his motorcycle parking tax… it’s too late now, the damage is done and the consequences will follow!

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Further reading:-

Westminster Council’s parking department faces EU probe

Was WCC Officer Gilchrist too busy to deliver conference talk on PIP or is he loosing his bottle due to EU investigation?

Westminster’s Mike More gets slap in the face from EU Commission

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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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