Resident, 101, leads calls for Brent Council to reinstate scratchcard parking permits

Campaigners handed the Council with a petition boasting over 500 signatures (pic credit: Jan Nevill)

Campaigners handed the Council with a petition boasting over 500 signatures (pic credit: Jan Nevill) - Credit: Archant

A 101-year-old from Harlesden who has never used a computer has led calls for Brent Council to reinstate scratchcard parking permits after they were axed in favour of an online version.

The centenarian, who is known as Ms Henderson, says the new scheme has stopped visitors to her home in Harlesden Road.

Campaigners who are calling for the return of the old system handed a 500-signature petition to the council yesterday.

Last week new system was bugged with technical faults which prevented people from using the phone service and critics have accused council chiefs of being “out of touch” with the elderly residents.

Ms Henderson, who was born in 1912 the year the Titanic ship sank, claims that the new system has had a significant impact on her life.

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She said: “At odd times my family and friends call to see me, sometimes only staying half an hour. I have always used scratchcards that friends have brought from Walm Lane (now closed parking shop).

“I have only got a television for viewing, no computer or anything.

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“How do I manage without my friends being fined for just popping in?”

Joel Davidson, prospective Conservative councillor candidate for Brondesbury Park ward, who has lobbied the council on behalf of residents said: “When we were out talking to residents about this we got overwhelming feedback that people were very unhappy with this.

“We feel the Council has shown a lack of compassion and no interest in vulnerable elderly people and their concerns.”

Joan Ferguson, 70, who lives in Bathurst Gardens, Kensal Rise, said some elderly residents do not have “a clue” on how the electronic parking permit system works.

She added: “They [visitors] are not going to come if parking is difficult. A lot of my friends aren’t technically savvy, and they really need to make it easier for us older folk.”

Kishan Devani, Conservative councillor candidate for Northwick Park said the council are failing to grasp that not all residents are IT savvy.

Cllr Jim Moher, Brent Council’s lead member for highways and transportation, vowed to personally visit Ms Henderson at her home to discuss the issue.

He added: “I recognise there are some people who need more time to make the transition to the online or phone system for arranging visitor parking.

“If there are vulnerable residents who are unable to use a telephone or the internet, then we have special arrangements including a paper-based annual ‘season ticket’ for visitors, proxy virtual visitor passes and other measures.”

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