We recently spoke to residents of Abbots Gardens, and the issue that came up time and time again has been the parking. They are the same concerns we hear all over East Finchley, all over Barnet really. They feel it's a rip off paying £4 for visitors permits, they think the price hike in the CPZ permit from £42 to £105 was too much in one go, they think the pay-by-phone parking system on the High Road is atrocious. I would not normally focus on the issues of just one road, but given this is one of the better roads for the Tories in East Finchley, I was surprised by the level of support there was for our position on this issue. They feel let down by Mr Freer, and don't trust the Council at all.
It was good to hear some positive comments about us councillors individually as well, with some very kind comments about Colin and Alison, and a few people said how nice it was to see us back after the by election working hard. Given the level of criticism Councillors face, it's very nice to hear residents appreciate our efforts.
Clearly, residents are hearing a lot more about One Barnet, and are raising it with us on the doorsteps. Given their anger about parking, they think it's incredible that the dodgy thinking that underpins the failed parking policies are being applied to the whole Council. This is a particular concern, as planning applications can be very contentious here, and they don't like the idea of the planning department being privatised.