Here is the full petition.
We urge the Council to accept the High Court ruling which overturned the enormous hike in parking charges for the 10% of residents living in Controlled Parking Zones.
Appealing against this decision will waste further money on legal costs and delay residents receiving the refunds to which they are entitled.
If an appeal is brought, it must be done without exposing David Attfield, the resident who brought the successful claim, to further legal costs. Threatening him with the Council's legal costs would be repugnant given that David won comprehensively, is simply standing up for other CPZ residents and will gain next to nothing in comparison to the millions in charges that the Council wants to cling on to.
What the Judge ruled
The High Court ruling is a complete vindication of our position. In a strong judgement, Mrs Justice Lang DBE concluded:
- That parking charges can be a significant cost for residents living in a CPZ, particularly where the hours are long or the residents have a low income
- That the charges apply only to around 8% of residents
- That the Council was motivated by maximising income from CPZ residents to ease financial pressures on the Council
- That councils should only be able to deliberately profit from residents where Parliament has very clearly allowed this.
- In this case, the legislation did not allow councils to use parking charges in order to maximise income.
- An increase in parking charges needs to serve a parking management purpose (e.g. to counter increased costs or to control demand for parking spaces).
- This interpretation of the law is also supported by two earlier High Court decisions.
What happens next?Unless the Council brings a successful appeal, charges will revert to what they were before the rises (£40 for a permit and £1 for a visitor voucher) and residents will be entitled to a refund of the amounts that they have been overcharged.
We do not know yet if Barnet will try to appeal. They will need permission in order to bring an appeal but this was not granted by Mrs Justice Lang who said that an appeal would have "no real prospect of success". But Barnet may still ask the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal.
We would urge the council not to bring an appeal. An appeal would delay residents receiving the refunds to which they are entitled, would waste more money on legal fees and would expose David Attfield to enormous financial risk in respect of the Council's legal costs.
We would like all of our supporters to tell the Council, their local councillors and their MP that there is no justification in the Council continuing a legal fight that it has comprehensively lost.
Barnet Council statement
On 24th July 2013 Barnet Council made the following statement in respect of the judgement against them.
From the Leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Richard Cornelius, said: “Both our pricing and spending are very much in line with other London boroughs and I very much believe that our spending of the income from our parking account on items such as road maintenance and transport services is entirely within the scope of the special parking account under the Road Traffic Act. With that in mind I don’t think we have any alternative but to look to appeal this decision.
“That said it is fairly clear that the council raised the price of parking permits, after five years of a price freeze, too abruptly and rather charmlessly. I will make sure that doesn’t happen again.”______
Once again here is the link for the petition.