TORY councillors have been accused of trying to “slip through” plans to remove pay and display parking metres during the August break.

The decision, part of Barnet Council’s move to a cashless system based on payments made over the phone, was taken single handed by Councillor Brian Coleman, responsible for transport.

The move meant it was approved without the opportunity for a public debate in which residents or opposition councillors would have been allowed to speak publicly.

Both Lib Dem and Labour councillors have now “called in” the decision, meaning it will have to go before a scrutiny committee.

Councillor Jack Cohen, leader of the Lib Dems, said: “I’ve called it in because it seems to me they are trying to slip it through during the August holiday.

“It’s such a major issue with so much concern I think it needs to be debated.”

The Times-Series contacted Cllr Coleman for a response to criticism of the way the decision was taken on his mobile on Friday but he hung up.