Mr Mustard does not sit around keeping his ideas to himself. If Mr Mustard thinks there is something which will improve the borough then he tells the person who can make a difference. Hence the below exchange on cashless parking which may be of interest to the two backbench councillors who are, according to a tweet from The Barnet Bugle, to make new proposals for parking. They may be knocking at an open door?
To: Coleman, Cllr Brian Conservative
Sent: Fri Apr 15 12:28:18 2011
Subject: Cashless parking
Dear Councillor Coleman
I understand why you want to move the Borough to cashless parking and also why many people want to continue to pay using the universal medium of cash.
The two separate camps could be easily reconciled.
Most of the CPZ zones have local shops in them. If parking vouchers which looked like the current visitor vouchers were available in the shops then Barnet Council could sell them in bulk to shopkeepers and pay in advance by credit card. Thus the Council would be cashless for on-street parking.
Motorists could still use cash to buy parking time ( there really are people without mobile phones and credit or debit cards you know ) and they could buy a stock of cards in advance if they are regular visitors to the Borough which would save them time and give the Council improved cashflow.
Local shops are struggling and this would give them a useful extra income stream from a, say, 5% commission deducted from the face value of the card.
I think that you personally would generate some useful positive publicity for the Borough if you were to introduce this additional way of paying.
The reply as ever was not overly long.
From: Coleman, Cllr Brian Conservative [mailto:Cllr.B.Coleman@barnet.gov.uk]
Sent: Friday, April 15, 2011 1:00 PM
To: Mr Mustard
Subject: Re: Cashless parking
Already in hand !
Four months later when Mr Mustard didn't see any sign of activity on this score, in fact the very opposite the proposed removal of pay & display machines, he wrote on 11 August
Dear Mr Coleman
I refer to your email of 15 April 2011.
I rather thought that by now I would have seen some sort of announcement by the council about this idea of mine of parking vouchers and given the current focus on regenerating High Streets this idea would be timely.
Is the idea going ahead please and if so, when can I expect to see an announcement?
Since which time there has been radio silence. Mr Mustard thinks that Cllr Coleman is in fact in favour of accepting other methods of payments, ones which don't involve the council in accepting cash, but allow customers to use cash, and is still working out how to effect this transformation. Hopefully with the help of the two backbenchers he will be able to work it out.