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  • "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..."
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Cafe owner summoned to council meeting

Cafe owner summoned to council meeting

Cafe owner summoned to council meeting

First published in News Times Series: Photograph of the Author by

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.

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