11 August 2011

Cash is no longer king in Barnet

A nice quiet time to put out this rather annoying Delegated Powers Report. The council supposedly want it to be advertised so here goes. 

You can look at the original on the council website.

as ever, click & click again to enlarge & then back to return

Mr Mustard doesn't think that removing the cash payment at or near the point of parking is a Better Service for less Money. In car parks at least the payment machine could be of the type provided at airports which could be housed in a glass cabin and in which one could instantly pay by cash, note or credit or debit card without the fuss of registering. Barnet Council have forgotten that they are meant to be providing a service to residents and having them run around looking for PayPoint shops will not endear them to the council and will waste their lives.

Why could there be a lack of maintenance contracts with suppliers. Could it be because Barnet Council have forgotten, accidentally, or deliberately to renew the maintenance contracts?
3.2 The public do not consider cash to no longer be viable. 99% of the public carry it with them.

3.4 So there you are in Strafford Rd next to Chipping Barnet library and you want to use PayPoint. How will you know that the nearest PayPoint is Wood St filling station which is 0.3 miles away? A mere 84 pay points across the borough will not really be enough now will it ? Are they all open during the full hours of the zone ?

3.6 Barnet isn't Westminster.

3.7 Is the profile of Westminster's visitors in cars completely different to Barnet's ? Westminster's are probably nearly all business people. 
5.1 How to waste £160,000 in one easy lesson.

5.2 Another £80,000 and more claims for falling over badly patched footpaths. So that is £240,000 diverted from better causes.

5.5 But no benefit to residents who want to use cash payment at the point of parking. If you want to do some shopping Mr Mustard suggests you visit Welwyn Garden City where you can park next to John Lewis for 1 hour free of charge at any time and all evening when it is lovely and quiet in the store.

Now the funny thing is that the staffing chart says there are 3 parking (meter) maintenance staff posts not 4 as in the report above. Why do these errors get made ? Is it an attempt to over-egg the pudding? Errors routinely get picked up by bloggers. Please become more accurate Barnet Council. Mr Mustard knows that he has read something somewhere in the last few months about getting rid of the cash collection people as well but can't quite remember where at present. He will. He will.
Notice that 2 out of 3 meter repair posts were vacant. Why did it take so long for that meter to be fixed ? Was this anything to do with it ?
8.4 Well, if Barnet Council had purchased identical machines all from one supplier their life would have  been simpler.
8.6 The trial was considered a success. Only in the eyes of the council.

8.9 The council realised they could make more money this way by issuing more penalty charge notices.

8.10 Or demonstrating the lack of choice available.

8.11 Not logical, it demonstrates a blinkered vision. Where large numbers of motorists park together, like in a municipal car park it makes sense to have a machine. It saves time for the motorist too. Barnet Council have no idea how to compromise. Maybe they could think about selling all of the off-street car parks and then someone else will have the management issues that Barnet Council find to be too much trouble?

8.12 Mr Mustard is helping your communication plan. If you are unhappy about this plan you can email the Cabinet member with responsibility for Environment Brain Coleman on cllr.b.coleman@barnet.gov.uk but best not tell him Mr Mustard sent you as he isn't the number one fan of this blog.

8.14 Mr Mustard will keep an eye out for this coming in front of committee later on and report to you again.

1a So the purpose is not to help residents and visitors to Barnet. Better take down those Welcome to Barnet signs.

1c So 10% of people do not have a mobile phone. Well never mind.

1c. It is considered that the removal of pay and display machines across the borough would have a significant impact on certain sectors of the community who, due to their personal circumstances , may not be able, or be comfortable using the pay by phone technology. But we are still taking them away. So why bother with a 7 page impact assessment?
1d. Welcome to Potters Bar, welcome to Welwyn Garden City, hello Bluewater, bye bye Barnet.
1e. No
1f. Correct. they are all equally adversely affected.
1g. During a riot maybe? or indeed any customer at any time with both their mobile phone and credit card readily nickable.

1. Footfall will decrease as people learn to go elsewhere. Its called voting with your feet. A choice between paying or not paying, ooh, that's hard to decide.

2. Mr Mustard has done his bit to help.

3. Please only use your blue badge when you really should. Don't use your old grandad's pass and then be spotted sprinting from your car to the shops.

The legal challenge will arrive one day. Just not sure when or where.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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