Brent Council could be forced to do U-turn on parking fee hike

Residents handed in 1,000 signature petition against the increase

Council chiefs may be forced to do a u-turn on hiking parking permit fees three months after the plans were rubber-stamped.

Brent Council went ahead with the increased charges of up to 300 per cent despite outraged residents handing in a 1,000-signature petition opposing the fees.

However, they have been forced to respond to resident’s opposition at a town hall meeting being held later this month

Since April, 17,000 permit holders have been hit with an average increase of �65 extra for parking permits, a move that could swell council coffers by over a million pounds.

Residents with older or bigger cars now pay up to �150 extra per year for parking, a three hundred percent hike, with drivers of low emissions vehicle better off.

Opponents say the scheme is unfair because it hits families, who tend to drive bigger cars, the hardest.

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Cllr Carol Shaw, one of the three Liberal Democrat councillors for Brondesbury Park called the council arrogant.

She added: “They simply ignored resident’s opposition and when they get the bill through for parking charges they will be rightly furious, particular those with bigger cars like young families.

“The hike in parking prices is a broken election promise, so they tried to sneak the decision through without proper scrutiny.

“There should have been a public debate at the council’s Executive or at the Highways Committee following the consultation but instead the council rushed through the decision so they could get its hands on the extra �1m this is costing local residents.

“It’s a disgrace that the hundreds of residents who signed the petition against the price hike have been treated this way.”

A council spokeswoman said the plans will encourage residents to cut their carbon emissions.

She added: “The council reviews its fees and charges periodically and the charges for parking permits were due to be revised.

“Indeed, it was eleven years since the previous increase to resident parking permits.”

“The petition referred to that was submitted in February is currently being looked at by the council and the results of these considerations will be published later this month.”