Is representing your constituents such a crime?

Over the next few days the questions to Cabinet Members for the upcoming Council Meeting will be published.

Within the questions, there are a number attacking me over the issue of the Car Parks in East Barnet. There is also a motion down for the next council meeting to discuss this.

Elected officials are often chastised for not representing their constituent’s views. This is what I have done in opposing the charges in the Church Hill road car park. I passionately believe that they are wrong for the village and will have a huge impact on the shops in this area.

I reiterate again that I did not vote for the charges – I voted for them to go out for consultation. We are often criticised for not discussing issues with the public before we decide on them.

I have been attacked by others who say that the budget included figures for charging in the car parks and that I voted for these. Yes I did – but the figures would have only come in to play if the council decided to go ahead with the charges.

I am confident that the East Barnet Councillors will be able to have these charges removed and I hope to be able to update everyone on this very soon.

If the Labour Party wants to attack me on representing my constituents – then so be it – the people of East Barnet deserve councillors who represent their views!

I would welcome to hear other peoples views – Is representing your constituents such a crime?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section.

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6 Responses to Is representing your constituents such a crime?

  1. Rog T says:

    What about all of the other extortionate car parking charges across the Borough? People aren’t attacking you for opposing the charges at this location, they are attacking you for the fact that you support them everywhere else. This is hypocricy and double standards.

  2. Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says:

    How do you have the nerve to write this? The parking charge issue is something you have only belatedly opposed, due to panic over the furious reaction from residents in your own ward. It is not just the question of a few car parks in your ward which needs addressing: the whole scheme across the borough is a catastrophe for everyone, not just in East Barnet, and you know it, and all your colleagues know it.

    It is simply beyond comprehension that a Conservative administration would allow such a clearly disastrous policy to be implemented and then, when the predictable extent of damage to our high streets is so apparent, refuse to do anything about it.

    You cannot now, this late in the day, try to disassociate yourself from a policy which is something you have all supported, just because one aspect of it has caused you problems with your own constituents. If something is wrong in East Barnet, it is wrong in the rest of the borough, and part of a larger policy which you have created. You have to share in the responsibility.

    I doubt you will publish this, but I hope you do.

  3. John Dix says:

    Robert, I will be delighted if you represent your constituents and vote against the introduction of car parking charges in East Barnet. However, you have to understand peoples’ scepticism given that you have not listened to other Barnet residents on the cost of parking in the rest of the Borough, the difficulty of using pay by phone, the closure of Friern Barnet Library, the closure of Church House Farm Museum to name but a few.

  4. Ed says:

    That’s a perfectly reasonable point. Now let’s see how many comments are from those who wish to play politics rather than get the best result for East Barnet.

  5. robertrams says:

    Rog T – No they are not – they are asking for my support to oppose the charges in East Barnet – which i do.

    Mrs Angry – Again – if you want to attack me for representing my residents – I am happy to be attacked for that.

    John – We have listened to residents – but tough decisions have to be taken. I stand by every decision i have personally taken and will continue to be a strong voice for the residents of East Barnet.

  6. Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says:

    Ed: we all want the best results for ALL the borough, and not a ward where a Cabinet member who has always supported his group’s policy suddenly becomes alarmed at the possible electoral consequences.

    Robert: I think you want to be ‘attacked’ for representing your residents, rather late in the day, but no one is doing that, unfortunately for you in your quest for self inflicted martyrdom. You cannot take a parochial attitude to this issue: it is part of a bigger picture and one which is seriously affecting the lives of every resident in Barnet. If you want to be a hero take a stand on this now, come out and say publicly that you and your colleagues have made a big mistake, and that the whole parking scheme is a major blunder.

    It sounds to me as if you are all waiting until May 4th, when you will all suddenly be energised with new courage.

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