Barnet Labour group has “named and shamed” councillors using “unfair” parking permits it claims to be worth nearly £100,000.

A response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted by Barnet Labour in 2016 revealed 37 members’ parking permits had been issued to councillors and MPs since 2014.

In 2016, the council valued the permits at £680 each by multiplying the £40 cost of a controlled parking zone (CPZ) permit by the number of CPZs in the borough.

But Labour claim the current value of a members’ permit is £2,635, based on the £85 cost of the most expensive residents’ permit and the 31 parking zones in Barnet.

That means the total value of the permits today would be £97,495.

Labour councillors refuse to use the permits and are campaigning to have them scrapped, claiming it is unfair that councillors can park free of charge while residents must pay.

Cllr Alan Schneiderman, the party’s environment spokesperson, said: “Voters have a right to know if councillors are getting free parking permits when everyone else has to pay.

“Most people agree with Labour that if residents have to pay for parking, so should Conservative and Lib Dem councillors.”

“The way the Conservatives have managed parking in Barnet has been a series of very expensive mistakes for council tax payers and local businesses.

“They made parking in shopping areas impossible for many people when they ripped out meters and switched to pay by mobile phone only.

“Residents in controlled parking zones had to take the council to the High Court to overturn unlawful parking charge increases, forcing the council to pay £2 million in refunds and £1 million in legal fees and administration.”

According to the FoI response, 15 serving Conservative Councillors have permits entitling them to free parking across the borough, along with Barnet’s sole Liberal Democrat councillor, Jack Cohen.

Several councillors have more than one members’ permit, with Conservative councillor Brian Gordon holding four.

Members’ permits allow councillors to park free of charge in meter bays, council car parks and any of the CPZs in the borough – but they can only be used for official council business.

A Labour spokesperson conceded the figures may have changed since 2016 but added that the council had failed to respond to a request for an updated register by the legal time limit of Wednesday, March 21.

Conservative leader Cllr Richard Cornelius commented: “I do not personally have one of these passes. Labour Councillors are obviously not so diligent in visiting residents and being out of the office, so have less need to get around the borough. They can only be used on official council business.”

Liberal Democrat councillor jack Cohen, who is listed as having three permits, was adamant that he had only one.

He said: “I can only think it is because I changed cars. The permit is only valid in your own ward or if you are on official council business – it is not valid to go shopping.

“If I use my car to visit someone, such as an old lady, in their home because they have a problem, I don’t think they [Labour] should be complaining that I would be able to park and visit her. We have got a job to do and we are doing it.”

Cllr Cohen added that he had previously put forward a motion that members should be charged £100 for permits, but Labour did not back him and it was voted down by the Conservatives.

A Barnet Council spokesperson said: “The information regarding the Members’ permits provided is no longer the current position.

"Our current process for member parking permits is that each member may hold one permit for one vehicle at a time. We have no information to suggest that any member holds more than one permit.”

The full list of councillors who are currently serving and had permits in 2016 is as follows:

Brunswick Park

Cllr Lisa Rutter, Conservative, two permits, permit numbers MEM10, MEM26

Childs Hill

Cllr Jack Cohen, Liberal Democrat, three permits, numbers MEM23, MEM51, MEM 53

Cllr Shimon Ryde, Conservative, two permits, permit numbers MEM19, MEM57

Cllr Peter Zinkin, Conservative, one permit, number MEM49


Cllr Brian Gordon, Conservative, four permits, permit numbers MEM21, MEM50, MEM56, MEM7

Finchley Church End

Cllr Eva Greenspan, Conservative, one permit, permit number MEM32

Garden Suburb

Cllr Gabriel Rozenberg, Conservative, one permit, permit number MEM14

Golders Green

Cllr Melvin Cohen, Conservative, one permit, permit number MEM18

Cllr Reuben Thompstone, Conservative, one permit, permit number MEM12


Cllr Anthony Finn, Conservative, one permit, permit number MEM40

Cllr Mark Shooter, Conservative, two permits, permit numbers MEM20, MEM55

High Barnet

Cllr David Longstaff, Conservative, one permit, permit number MEM28

Cllr Wendy Prentice, Conservative, one permit, permit number MEM15

Mill Hill

Cllr Val Duschinsky, Conservative, one permit, permit number MEM37

Cllr John Hart, Conservative, one permit, permit number MEM17


Cllr Stephen Sowerby, Conservative, one permit, permit number MEM9