Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) charges across Barnet are to be increased from 1st April 2011. A residents’ car permit will increase from £42 per year to £100 (for the first car). Visitors’ vouchers are to increase from £1 each to £4 each. The impact will be severe. For example, any CPZ resident that has a daily child-minder or carer will be paying over £1000 in charges per annum for visitors vouchers.
The aim of these new charges is to increase revenue from CPZ residents to pay for road maintenance across the borough of Barnet. This seems grossly discriminatory to a small minority (perhaps only 3.5%). A number of East Finchley residents, therefore, attended the Cabinet Meeting on 14th February.
The meeting was a fiasco. Residents submitted questions in advance and councillors had written answers that did not answer the questions. They claimed not to know, for example, how many residents in Barnet live in CPZs. They claimed there had been a full public consultation since 8th December. There was no mention of the e-petition with 4000+ signatures against the charges. They claimed there has been a fully comprehensive Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) on how the new charges affect vulnerable groups, for example, women, the elderly and disabled. The committee then went on to approve the new charges as from April 1st 2011.
There are a group of residents who are taking up a legal challenge on the matter and are contacting the Local Government Ombudsman.
Visit the campaign website against the fee rises.
If you are interested in getting involved in the legal challenge to the CPZ fees rise visit this website: http://www.barnetcpz.co.uk/