Conservative Barnet council has spent £14,000 on 8 focus groups to find out what residents think is wrong with parking in the Borough.
The figures were revealed in answer to council questions submitted by Labour’s Environment Spokesperson, Cllr Alan Schneiderman.
Conservative Cabinet Member, Cllr Dean Cohen admitted that only 5 to 9 people attended each focus group session – making the cost to council tax payers around £250 for each person attending.
At the same Council meeting, councillors learned that the council still hasn’t repaid around 6,000 residents who were unlawfully charged whopping parking charge increases over the last two years.
Barnet council were forced to back-down on huge parking charge increases of up to 300% after a High Court judge ruled the charge hikes were unlawful. Only £903,000 out of £2.25million of these charges has been refunded to residents so far after 5 months.
Labour’s Environment spokesperson, Cllr Alan Schneiderman said:
“The Barnet Tories have completely cocked up parking in Barnet, and still seem to be clueless about how to sort it out. £14k is a hefty amount to run a focus group for such a small number of people, particularly when it’s fairly obvious what’s gone wrong with parking in Barnet – eye-watering parking charge increases and the decision to force everyone to pay by phone. The Tories could make a start on sorting things out by paying back the thousands of residents who still have not got a refund for the unlawful parking charges.”
Details of Labour’s parking pledges can be found here: http://www.labour4barnet.com/2013/11/05/barnet-labour-launch-manifesto-parking-pledges/