Cafe owner summoned to council meeting

Times Series: Cafe owner summoned to council meeting Cafe owner summoned to council meeting

A Finchley cafe owner has been summoned to a meeting with Barnet Council after she created a number of political posters.

Helen Michael, owner of Cafe Buzz in the High Road, was one of a group of protesters who designed posters campaigning against Finchley’s high parking charges.

The traders, who believe the new parking system is killing their businesses, made posters showing pictures of all the Finchley and Barnet shops which have closed this year.

In the middle of the posters, which claim Barnet Council is "murdering" the High Road, is a picture of Brian Coleman, cabinet member for the environment.

The posters were put up in North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South, Whetstone, Finchley and Barnet.

However, since the posters went up, Ms Michael, from North Finchley, has found herself in the middle of a political storm.

A complaint was made to the police that the posters were in breach of electoral legislation as they did not contain the creator’s name and contact details.

Yesterday Ms Michael was given a formal letter from the council requesting that she attends a meeting on May 8.

The cafe owner said: “Obviously I was upset when I was given the letter.

“They have come after me for all this while other people seem to be getting away with it.

“I won’t walk away, I believe so strongly in this cause that I will fight it all the way.

Since December, drivers have been forced to pay for parking using a phone, which some say can take up to 20 minutes, and charges are now as high as £2 per hour.

Related links

Comments (34)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:29pm Fri 27 Apr 12

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

Helen Michael is an admirable woman, and is more than a match for Brian Coleman. He is panicking, because he knows that his policies, arrogance and rudeness has at last alienated his own remaining voters. Barnet Council cannot compell Helen to attend a meeting with councillors - the police have already cleared her of wrongdoing. If I were her I would just tell them to get lost. I imagine she probably will.
Helen Michael is an admirable woman, and is more than a match for Brian Coleman. He is panicking, because he knows that his policies, arrogance and rudeness has at last alienated his own remaining voters. Barnet Council cannot compell Helen to attend a meeting with councillors - the police have already cleared her of wrongdoing. If I were her I would just tell them to get lost. I imagine she probably will. Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 0

4:30pm Fri 27 Apr 12

Don't Call Me Dave says...

On what legal basis can the council summon a member of the public to appear before them?
On what legal basis can the council summon a member of the public to appear before them? Don't Call Me Dave
  • Score: 0

5:43pm Fri 27 Apr 12

golders green spokesman says...

hi Ms Michael

keep up your good work whats the address for your shop i want to come over to support you
hi Ms Michael keep up your good work whats the address for your shop i want to come over to support you golders green spokesman
  • Score: 0

7:15pm Fri 27 Apr 12

BarnetTrader says...

This afternoon Coleman's been up and down Barnet High Street personally asking traders to take their posters down! No threats (at least to us) but a clearly worried man.

We have not taken ours down, but we expect more from him to come...
This afternoon Coleman's been up and down Barnet High Street personally asking traders to take their posters down! No threats (at least to us) but a clearly worried man. We have not taken ours down, but we expect more from him to come... BarnetTrader
  • Score: 0

7:44pm Fri 27 Apr 12

OhWiseOne says...

Hmm i wonder which odious councillor complained....
Hmm i wonder which odious councillor complained.... OhWiseOne
  • Score: 0

8:22pm Fri 27 Apr 12

rony says...

Helen, you have scared the sh**t out of them. This is an indication that what you are doing is right!
Helen, you have scared the sh**t out of them. This is an indication that what you are doing is right! rony
  • Score: 0

8:26pm Fri 27 Apr 12

Methodman says...

Well done Ms Michael for standing up to a Totally Wreckless Amoral Tory.
Rash decisions are being made in Council chambers that are killing businesses across Barnet.
I am right behind you in your campaign.
Well done Ms Michael for standing up to a Totally Wreckless Amoral Tory. Rash decisions are being made in Council chambers that are killing businesses across Barnet. I am right behind you in your campaign. Methodman
  • Score: 0

8:28pm Fri 27 Apr 12

rony says...

Come tomorrow, Saturday, at 11 AM to a Pro-Democracy Rally @ The People's Library at the Friern Barnet Green, outside the library.
Come tomorrow, Saturday, at 11 AM to a Pro-Democracy Rally @ The People's Library at the Friern Barnet Green, outside the library. rony
  • Score: 0

9:16pm Fri 27 Apr 12

shinychris says...

It is despicable that highly paid public servants like Coleman continue to behave in this manner, without any concern for local traders - whose livelihoods depend on people being able to park outside their shops. Helen Michael is to be admired for standing up to the bullies who neither know about small businesses nor care.
It is despicable that highly paid public servants like Coleman continue to behave in this manner, without any concern for local traders - whose livelihoods depend on people being able to park outside their shops. Helen Michael is to be admired for standing up to the bullies who neither know about small businesses nor care. shinychris
  • Score: 0

9:29pm Fri 27 Apr 12

Mr Reasonable says...

So Mr Coleman can call a member of the public a T**T but a business rate payer and a local employer cannot publicly attribute a catastrophic parking policy to the man who instigated it. Well done Helen Michael, keep going because you are clearly winning the war!
So Mr Coleman can call a member of the public a T**T but a business rate payer and a local employer cannot publicly attribute a catastrophic parking policy to the man who instigated it. Well done Helen Michael, keep going because you are clearly winning the war! Mr Reasonable
  • Score: 0

9:55pm Fri 27 Apr 12

james smyth says...

wheres all the other comments gone ?
wheres all the other comments gone ? james smyth
  • Score: 0

11:39pm Fri 27 Apr 12

Mr T Wat says...

I wonder, if Mr Coleman is unsuccessful on May 3rd, will we see an increase in posts from 'James Smyth' (are they by any chance related)?
Your previous posts 'James' appear to have been removed because of unpleasant sexist overtones.
I wonder, if Mr Coleman is unsuccessful on May 3rd, will we see an increase in posts from 'James Smyth' (are they by any chance related)? Your previous posts 'James' appear to have been removed because of unpleasant sexist overtones. Mr T Wat
  • Score: 0

10:34am Sat 28 Apr 12

james smyth says...

I only wanted a point clarified that was made by someone else (methodman) whether it was the produce on offer at a certain cafe that was the best in finchley or if it was him that was making personnel remarks.
how come people can swear in posts then and they dont get removed?
I only wanted a point clarified that was made by someone else (methodman) whether it was the produce on offer at a certain cafe that was the best in finchley or if it was him that was making personnel remarks. how come people can swear in posts then and they dont get removed? james smyth
  • Score: 0

10:40am Sat 28 Apr 12

james smyth says...

Mr T Wat wrote:
I wonder, if Mr Coleman is unsuccessful on May 3rd, will we see an increase in posts from 'James Smyth' (are they by any chance related)?
Your previous posts 'James' appear to have been removed because of unpleasant sexist overtones.
I think it is You that is related to Mr Coleman judgeing by your ID
MR **** !
just like Mr Coleman,you really dont think things through.
[quote][p][bold]Mr T Wat[/bold] wrote: I wonder, if Mr Coleman is unsuccessful on May 3rd, will we see an increase in posts from 'James Smyth' (are they by any chance related)? Your previous posts 'James' appear to have been removed because of unpleasant sexist overtones.[/p][/quote]I think it is You that is related to Mr Coleman judgeing by your ID MR **** ! just like Mr Coleman,you really dont think things through. james smyth
  • Score: 0

11:34am Sun 29 Apr 12

Mr T Wat says...

'James' you've finally seen the light. Critical of Mr Coleman, at last! Evidence, if it were needed, that we can turn the vote around on Thursday..... or a ploy to convince others that 'James' isn't in fact know to others as 'Brian', as some suspect?
'James' you've finally seen the light. Critical of Mr Coleman, at last! Evidence, if it were needed, that we can turn the vote around on Thursday..... or a ploy to convince others that 'James' isn't in fact know to others as 'Brian', as some suspect? Mr T Wat
  • Score: 0

4:17pm Sun 29 Apr 12

james smyth says...

Your id just says all I need to know about you MR T WAT !
Your id just says all I need to know about you MR T WAT ! james smyth
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Mon 30 Apr 12

local-lass says...

Ignoring the name calling....It is outrageous that the council can use its powers to bully objectors into silence? On what authority can it summon Ms Michael to a meeting? Whatever happened to free speech? All to protect Brian Coleman - a man with no respect for his constituents.
Ignoring the name calling....It is outrageous that the council can use its powers to bully objectors into silence? On what authority can it summon Ms Michael to a meeting? Whatever happened to free speech? All to protect Brian Coleman - a man with no respect for his constituents. local-lass
  • Score: 0

1:24pm Mon 30 Apr 12

Mr_Growser says...

Either there is a law about these things or there isn't - but at the very worst Ms Michael has committed a really trivial offence. Barnet's officials seem overpaid (see Taxpayers Alliance report) but out of control (eg Iceland investments, Metpro etc.) Time for a complete clear-out of the bunch of numpty Councillors who have allowed (encouraged) all this to happen, and a cull of the fat cat officers. Even Brian Coleman could never achieve the level of incompetence and arrogance of Barnet on his own! It should not be allowed!
Either there is a law about these things or there isn't - but at the very worst Ms Michael has committed a really trivial offence. Barnet's officials seem overpaid (see Taxpayers Alliance report) but out of control (eg Iceland investments, Metpro etc.) Time for a complete clear-out of the bunch of numpty Councillors who have allowed (encouraged) all this to happen, and a cull of the fat cat officers. Even Brian Coleman could never achieve the level of incompetence and arrogance of Barnet on his own! It should not be allowed! Mr_Growser
  • Score: 0

5:08pm Mon 30 Apr 12

Bianca R Lemon says...

"A complaint was made to the police that the posters were in breach of electoral legislation as they did not contain the creator’s name and contact details." The notices are not in breach of electoral law. They are general comments which do not support a particular candidate and therefore are out with any political campaign.

With regard to the summons to appear before the council. What an opportunity to remind the council (officials and councillers) that they are the servant of the people and not their masters.

It might also provide an opportunity to achieve a change in policy regarding parking I for one no longer shop locally as I now prefer to use shopping centres with free parking.

And finally can I be the first to offer my sympathy (NOT) to Brian Coleman on his forthcoming loss of his seat on the GLA. We have a VOTE and I for one will definitely use it on this occasion to rid ourselves of the Blight of Barnet
"A complaint was made to the police that the posters were in breach of electoral legislation as they did not contain the creator’s name and contact details." The notices are not in breach of electoral law. They are general comments which do not support a particular candidate and therefore are out with any political campaign. With regard to the summons to appear before the council. What an opportunity to remind the council (officials and councillers) that they are the servant of the people and not their masters. It might also provide an opportunity to achieve a change in policy regarding parking I for one no longer shop locally as I now prefer to use shopping centres with free parking. And finally can I be the first to offer my sympathy (NOT) to Brian Coleman on his forthcoming loss of his seat on the GLA. We have a VOTE and I for one will definitely use it on this occasion to rid ourselves of the Blight of Barnet Bianca R Lemon
  • Score: 0

5:26pm Mon 30 Apr 12

Mr unreasonable and always looking for fault says...

It is a political poster displayed during an election campaign therefore needs an imprint. Very amusing how one group will attack the council and politicians for misdemeanors yet clealry can't take being taken to task for one of their own!! Ha! Good!
It is a political poster displayed during an election campaign therefore needs an imprint. Very amusing how one group will attack the council and politicians for misdemeanors yet clealry can't take being taken to task for one of their own!! Ha! Good! Mr unreasonable and always looking for fault
  • Score: 0

9:01pm Mon 30 Apr 12

sinking barnet says...

I think that we may find if Helen has been placing posters in certain places, the Council may have a right to speak to her regarding the offence of fly posting which is a criminal offence, if we are to get rid of certain Cllrs lets do it legally and not sink to their pathetic levels..
I think that we may find if Helen has been placing posters in certain places, the Council may have a right to speak to her regarding the offence of fly posting which is a criminal offence, if we are to get rid of certain Cllrs lets do it legally and not sink to their pathetic levels.. sinking barnet
  • Score: 0

9:01pm Mon 30 Apr 12

sinking barnet says...

I think that we may find if Helen has been placing posters in certain places, the Council may have a right to speak to her regarding the offence of fly posting which is a criminal offence, if we are to get rid of certain Cllrs lets do it legally and not sink to their pathetic levels..
I think that we may find if Helen has been placing posters in certain places, the Council may have a right to speak to her regarding the offence of fly posting which is a criminal offence, if we are to get rid of certain Cllrs lets do it legally and not sink to their pathetic levels.. sinking barnet
  • Score: 0

9:25pm Mon 30 Apr 12

Bianca R Lemon says...

No it's not! What is your basis that it is political?

All it seeks to achieve is right a wrong that is the mis-application of a parking policy across Barnet which is not wanted by residents and is to the detriment of local traders.

It is only Coleman realising that he has to wake up from his slumbers and do something if he is to stay on "easy street" for the next four years that has caused the council to take action on his behalf!
No it's not! What is your basis that it is political? All it seeks to achieve is right a wrong that is the mis-application of a parking policy across Barnet which is not wanted by residents and is to the detriment of local traders. It is only Coleman realising that he has to wake up from his slumbers and do something if he is to stay on "easy street" for the next four years that has caused the council to take action on his behalf! Bianca R Lemon
  • Score: 0

9:27am Tue 1 May 12

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

If there are any residents left who need to be persuaded why Brian Coleman does not deserve to remain in office, please take a look at this brilliant website: http://101reasonstos
ackbriancoleman.tumb
lr.com/
... where you will find all the information you require.

The only way to remove Coleman is to vote on the yellow form for Andrew Dismore, who I know will be a hard working, conscientious Assembly member, and a pleasant contrast to the current taxi loving, lunch guzzling Coleman. I know people of all political persuasions who will be voting tactically this way because they are all united in one desire - to rid us of the burden of Brian Coleman. The local Tory party is holding its breath waiting to see what will happen, and praying he gets kicked out. This will lead to some interesting changes in Barnet Council.

So: vote on Thursday, and make sure everyone you know makes the effort too. Yes, even if it's raining!
If there are any residents left who need to be persuaded why Brian Coleman does not deserve to remain in office, please take a look at this brilliant website: http://101reasonstos ackbriancoleman.tumb lr.com/ ... where you will find all the information you require. The only way to remove Coleman is to vote on the yellow form for Andrew Dismore, who I know will be a hard working, conscientious Assembly member, and a pleasant contrast to the current taxi loving, lunch guzzling Coleman. I know people of all political persuasions who will be voting tactically this way because they are all united in one desire - to rid us of the burden of Brian Coleman. The local Tory party is holding its breath waiting to see what will happen, and praying he gets kicked out. This will lead to some interesting changes in Barnet Council. So: vote on Thursday, and make sure everyone you know makes the effort too. Yes, even if it's raining! Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 0

10:17am Tue 1 May 12

exiledgeordie says...

You now have the opportunity to get rid of Brian Coleman, vote him out on thursday or suffer the backlash.
Well done Helen
You now have the opportunity to get rid of Brian Coleman, vote him out on thursday or suffer the backlash. Well done Helen exiledgeordie
  • Score: 0

1:10pm Tue 1 May 12

Barnet Parker says...

The Representation of the People Act 1983 states that promotor/publication details are only required if "...promoting or procuring the election of a candidate...". I'm sure Helen did not feature Coleman on her poster to acheive that aim!!! Helen was merely protesting about a parking policy therefore the law does not apply.

However, I'm sure it is illegal to waste the police's time so let's see Barnet Council in the dock for a frivolous complaint.

Well done Helen. Keep up the good work.
The Representation of the People Act 1983 states that promotor/publication details are only required if "...promoting or procuring the election of a candidate...". I'm sure Helen did not feature Coleman on her poster to acheive that aim!!! Helen was merely protesting about a parking policy therefore the law does not apply. However, I'm sure it is illegal to waste the police's time so let's see Barnet Council in the dock for a frivolous complaint. Well done Helen. Keep up the good work. Barnet Parker
  • Score: 0

10:15pm Wed 2 May 12

Dino_Rizzoni says...

Hurrah for Helen, and let's get Brian Coleman out - rude, aggressive, grasping and a freeloader, it really it time he went. Vote for Dismore tomorrow!
Hurrah for Helen, and let's get Brian Coleman out - rude, aggressive, grasping and a freeloader, it really it time he went. Vote for Dismore tomorrow! Dino_Rizzoni
  • Score: 0

11:37pm Wed 2 May 12

james smyth says...

VOTE COLEMAN....you know it makes sense .
No wishy washy talk just straight to the point,some find it a bitter pill to swallow but for a better Barnet tough talk and tough decisions need to be made.
If you dont want to pay to park,use public transport,walk or shop on line or even shop out of town where the parkings free or move.
VOTE COLEMAN....you know it makes sense . No wishy washy talk just straight to the point,some find it a bitter pill to swallow but for a better Barnet tough talk and tough decisions need to be made. If you dont want to pay to park,use public transport,walk or shop on line or even shop out of town where the parkings free or move. james smyth
  • Score: 0

12:18am Thu 3 May 12

Mike NW7 says...

James Smyth: Does tough talk mean running into a hairdressers shop and screaming at the proprietor?

If Coleman really believed in tough talking he'd have been at the bottom of the steps of Mill Hill Broadway station every night of the campaign canvassing Mill Hill and other Barnet voters but instead he hid away in Camden throughout the campaign and refused to even take part in the hustings meetings.

You may call that tough talking but I call it cowardice.
James Smyth: Does tough talk mean running into a hairdressers shop and screaming at the proprietor? If Coleman really believed in tough talking he'd have been at the bottom of the steps of Mill Hill Broadway station every night of the campaign canvassing Mill Hill and other Barnet voters but instead he hid away in Camden throughout the campaign and refused to even take part in the hustings meetings. You may call that tough talking but I call it cowardice. Mike NW7
  • Score: 0

7:50am Thu 3 May 12

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

ha, well said MikeNW7 ... yesterday a team of flyposters arrived in the borough & stuck illegal Tory Boris posters on bus shelters and some shops - are the y being prosecuted, we wonder? If there are any voters left who need to be persuaded to vote for Dismore + kick out Coleman, look in the Mirror today, and enjoy the story about his £1,000 lunch for Tory chums ...
ha, well said MikeNW7 ... yesterday a team of flyposters arrived in the borough & stuck illegal Tory Boris posters on bus shelters and some shops - are the y being prosecuted, we wonder? If there are any voters left who need to be persuaded to vote for Dismore + kick out Coleman, look in the Mirror today, and enjoy the story about his £1,000 lunch for Tory chums ... Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 0

10:48am Thu 3 May 12

Methodman says...

James Smyth may not realise it but many businesses rely on something called passing trade,this is when people who are passing through an area stop for a couple of minutes to purchase an item or two.
It is exactly this trade that suffers most from hare-brained parking schemes.
Every shopkeeper in the borough will tell Brian Coleman that his parking plan is pushing them closer to the financial precipice .
Brian Coleman should have been man enough to admit his mistake and rectify it instead of barging into shops and bullying ratepayers.Coleman proves he is just another Tory Without Any Training,when it comes to important decisions that affect the livelihoods of people in the real world.
James Smyth may not realise it but many businesses rely on something called passing trade,this is when people who are passing through an area stop for a couple of minutes to purchase an item or two. It is exactly this trade that suffers most from hare-brained parking schemes. Every shopkeeper in the borough will tell Brian Coleman that his parking plan is pushing them closer to the financial precipice . Brian Coleman should have been man enough to admit his mistake and rectify it instead of barging into shops and bullying ratepayers.Coleman proves he is just another Tory Without Any Training,when it comes to important decisions that affect the livelihoods of people in the real world. Methodman
  • Score: 0

7:32pm Thu 3 May 12

sinking barnet says...

Mrs Angry, the council can only prosecute fly posters that illegally post on the public highway, bus stops and shops are private property and must be dealt with by the companies that own them, Helen and her team made the mistake according to the article of going onto NLBP and posting, this could be classed as tresspass as the land is not public and the public do not, unless invited, have the right to walk onto the land. ...Coleman out tonight please..
Mrs Angry, the council can only prosecute fly posters that illegally post on the public highway, bus stops and shops are private property and must be dealt with by the companies that own them, Helen and her team made the mistake according to the article of going onto NLBP and posting, this could be classed as tresspass as the land is not public and the public do not, unless invited, have the right to walk onto the land. ...Coleman out tonight please.. sinking barnet
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Fri 4 May 12

Methodman says...

Congratulations to all those who stood up to the bully that tried to kill Barnets Businesses.
Time one to bring back pay and display.
Congratulations to all those who stood up to the bully that tried to kill Barnets Businesses. Time one to bring back pay and display. Methodman
  • Score: 0

7:38pm Fri 4 May 12

Bianca R Lemon says...

Keep it up Brian - we will get you off the council as well as out of the GLA, and sooner than you think!
Your contempt for the people who were misled into allowing you to represent them is unbelievable!
I am not a natural Labour Party supporter but on this occasion I was adamant that you should not succeed and voted for Dismore. I am sure that your scandalous behaviour has persuaded many others to cast their votes similarly.
Conservative Central Office and our recently elected new Conservative MP’s take NOTE! And please take ACTION!
Keep it up Brian - we will get you off the council as well as out of the GLA, and sooner than you think! Your contempt for the people who were misled into allowing you to represent them is unbelievable! I am not a natural Labour Party supporter but on this occasion I was adamant that you should not succeed and voted for Dismore. I am sure that your scandalous behaviour has persuaded many others to cast their votes similarly. Conservative Central Office and our recently elected new Conservative MP’s take NOTE! And please take ACTION! Bianca R Lemon
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree