If there was an award for Chutzpah, Freer would win it hands down for this intervention. Freer states
"The local authority and I have not seen eye to eye on this issue, with many local businesses in town centres concerned about the impact on trade and complaints from residents who, like me, live in a controlled parking zone (CPZ)."Well as someone who helped lead the campaign against the charges, made a film about it, and who also follows Freer on Twitter, his difference of opinion with Barnet Council is news to me. It is no secret that Freer pulls the strings in the Barnet Conservative machine. The concept that he had a difference of opinion with Brian Coleman on these policies is laughable. Freer was well known for his championing of stealth taxes in his period as Leader of Barnet Council. He has championed the candidacy of Shaheen Mahmood in Brunswick Park. It will be interesting to see if he ditches her as quickly as he has ditched Brian Coleman when it became clear Coleman was damaging Freer's job prospects as an MP at the next election.
Freer states in his article
"But I hope that this review is the beginning of a conversation and an agreed way forward."We've been trying to have a conversation about this for nearly a year, since Freer's best mate, Brian Coleman tried to sneak the policy through. This blog details how Coleman tried to sneak the policy through. It was dated August last year.
It is interesting to note, in hindsight, that this was the moment the Barnet Tories pushed the self destruct button. The whole thing has been a disaster from start to finish and it has Freer's fingerprints all over it. He is clearly desperate to try and save his skin. It seems that if that means shafting all of his friends in the process, then that is just part of the job.
I would welcome anyone who can show me anything which shows that Freer is anything other than a very late jumper onto the bandwagon against Pay and Display. If he'd actually told Coleman to knock it on the head last August, he'd probably have saved dozens of businesses in Barnet High Streets and saved Coleman from losing his seat. The only conclusion can be that the penny has finally dropped with Freer. Sadly, for him, it is too late for anyone to be fooled by his conversion to the cause of the local High Streets and small traders. If it was true, he'd have been down to see Helen Michael who leads the local traders campaign. When I suggested he visit Helen at Cafe Buzz on twitter, he stated that the coffee was better at another shop down the road, here's what he said