Brent Council could face another legal challenge over parking charges

Town hall bosses could be hauled before the courts for driving through controversial fees

Brent Council could be hauled before the courts again after it drove through parking charges against traders’ wishes.

Weeks after a judicial �review scrutinising the decision to axe half the borough’s libraries was heard at the High Court, the council may face further legal action after it gave the green light to a pay and display scheme in two streets in Wembley.

The controversial plan, which was fought vehemently by traders on Preston Road and Bridge Road, will see the introduction of charges costing motorists 60p for 20 minutes, �1.50 for 40 minutes and �2.40 for an hour.

The maximum length of time drivers will be able to park in the street will be two hours at a cost of �6.

Robert Dunwell, who has been at the forefront of the campaigns to keep meters out of Preston Road, said: “The traders will struggle.

“Things look bleak for Preston Road.”

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Mr Dunwell said the campaigners could now think about taking legal action.

He said: “We could serve writs against individual councillors and there are other legal routes.”

The council voted through the plans on July 27, despite traders on both roads voicing concerns that it will drive away customers to nearby Asda supermarket which has a free car park. Three years ago, the traders on Preston Road successfully fought off similar plans by forcing the council to implement a free hour parking scheme.

Furious Manoj Bharania, who owns Rushton Pharmacy, in Preston Road, said: “It is disastrous.

“This country prides itself on its democracy but there is nothing democratic about Brent Council. It is a dictatorship.

“The council is doing nothing to protect small businesses.”

William Kemp, chairman of Preston Amenities Protection Association (PAPA), believes the community was fighting a losing battle. He said: “The council had already made up its mind.”

A council spokesman told the Times it was standardising short-term parking across the borough.

He added: “At the moment some shopping areas within Brent are free whereas �others have pay-and-display parking.”