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Ealing and Northfield

Mahfouz trips himself up

bassam-maufouz-site.jpgLabour councillor Bassam Mahfouz is their Transport, Environment & Climate Change Spokesman and is also going head-to-head with Angie Bray in the Ealing Central and Acton constituency. Last month he tried to have a go at the current Conservative administration for their performance in the parking area, highlighting the rate at which people were winning cases at the final court of appeal for these things which is called PATAS. Apparently Ealing was the worst in West London with 80% people winning their appeals. See his claims here.

The only problem is that wheels grind somewhat slowly in such matters and 90% of these appeals are a hang over from the old contract which the new Conservative administration inherited from the old Labour administration. Getting this right was one of the first pieces of business of the new administration. Today the Tory Transport portfolio holder issued a press release firmly putting Mahfouz back in his box.

A parking contract negotiated by the previous Labour administration has been held responsible for the high number of wrongly issued parking tickets in Ealing. Last year, 80%of appeals against tickets issued by Ealing Council were upheld – the highest rate of successful parking appeals in west London. It has now been revealed that 90% of the 1,458 successful appeals occurred under the parking contract negotiated by the previous Labour administration, which has now been renegotiated.

Labour’s contract paid bonuses to the contractor for issuing over 170,000 tickets whether or not the tickets were issued correctly. It gave an incentive to issue extra tickets with no penalties for the issuing of unfair tickets. A new contract, negotiated by the Conservative administration late last year, removed incentives for issuing over an arbitrary number of tickets and penalises the contractor where they issue tickets incorrectly.

Cabinet portfolio holder for Transport, Cllr Vlod Barchuk, said there was little doubt as to why Ealing had issued so many false tickets last year. He said:

“This is yet another legacy inherited from the previous Council. Labour’s contract actively provided incentives to the contractor to issue dodgy tickets and victimise motorists. It’s no surprise that so many Ealing motorists have brought successful appeals. The new contract is fairer as it puts the emphasis on tickets being issued correctly.”

“It’s a particularly disgraceful piece of spin by Labour’s Transport spokesman, Cllr Bassam Mahfouz, to have suggested last week that the high number of wrong tickets issued last year was our fault. At the same time he tried to take credit for stopping the tram, when Cllr Mahfouz and his party had actively supported it. How shameless and dishonest can you be?”

As the unwise Mahfouz himself says:

The Council should be ensuring that their parking wardens are only ticketing those who have genuinely broken local regulations.

Quite!

The young tyke has also being trying to claim that he had some kind of a role in killing the tram. Pull the other one Bassam.

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