A Barnet councillor has been branded “disrespectful” for dismissing the concerns of nearly 300 East Finchley residents with abrupt emails.

Gary Sakol, of High Street, said he was “shocked and disappointed” after he contacted Conservative representative Brian Coleman about parking outside the Royal Mail sorting office, in Lodge Lane.

Despite gathering a petition of 290 signatures calling on the council to consider a ten minute free parking scheme, Mr Sakol was “dismissed out of hand”.

The 28-year-old sent an email to the Totteridge representative on Saturday to make his case and cited examples of a similar scheme in Camden.

But he was amazed to receive one response within 24 hours describing the idea as “unworkable”.

Events organiser Mr Sakol said: “I was surprised to say the least at the first email. Given that it was a Sunday when he replied, he’d obviously not discussed it with colleagues.

“I had taken a considerable amount of time and effort to put together the petition and to have the proposal shot down straight away as a stupid idea was disrespectful.”

After the first email, Mr Sakol thanked Cllr Coleman for replying but urged him to consider the issue and pointed out the elected council member’s duty to represent his residents.

The London Assembly member’s response simply stated: “I think this correspondence is now closed thank you.”

When contacted by the Times Series, Cllr Coleman hung up the phone immediately and has refused to comment.

A Barnet Council representative has since distanced the authority from the cabinet member for environment, saying it was a personal issue for the councillor.

Mr Sakol said: “I don’t think a man in that position should respond to emails in that tone. Someone with that attitude should never be in that role.

“I want him to take the issue away and look at it carefully and give me a considered response.”

Despite his unsuccessful attempts to bring the matter to the council’s attention, Mr Sakol said he is determined to get his point across.

He said: “It is about free movement around the borough. People are being restricted because they don’t want to pay £1 to park for five minutes while they collect a parcel.

“I would be far more inclined to use our local shops if the parking charges were not so extreme. They put in these schemes and wonder why the high street is dying a death.”