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Car crashes through fence and ends up on M1 motorway

A car rolled off the forecourt of a dealership this morning and ended up on a crash barrier on the M1.

The motorway was partly closed for nearly three hours after part of the wooden fence was demolished. No one was injured and the West London Motor Group on Watford Way have so far declined to comment.

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Library floods after thieves snatch roof tiles

A library in north London has been forced to close after thieves stole roof tiles, leaving the building to flood.

Google Street View image of Friern Barnet Community Library Credit: Google Street View

The Friern Barnet Community Library is run by volunteers and re-opened last year after a long campaign to keep it going. Repairs may have to be paid for through donations:

"We will have to pay for the damages upfront and seek to be reimbursed by the London Borough of Barnet, but we may also have to consider donations for a flood fund from you to help cover the costs."

Friern Barnet Community Library statement

Gang culture on the rise in Barnet, warns local woman

When you think of gang violence, drug dealing and knife crime you don't automatically think of Barnet in North London. But one local young woman has warned the problem is growing in the borough and people don't realise how serious it is.

To tell her story she approached ITV Fixers, the scheme that gives young people a voice on issues that matter to them, to help her produce a film to highlight the problem.

Parking victory for London campaigners

Parking victory Credit: PA

Parking campaigners have won a landmark High Court victory against increased charges.

A judge ruled Barnet council in north London acted unlawfully when it increased the cost of residents' parking permits in controlled parking zones to raise revenue.

Rise in charges 'shouldn't be stealth tax' on residents

Parking charges must be "reasonable", local government minister Brandon Lewis said today, after campaigners won a landmark High Court case against increased charges in Barnet.

Mr Lewis said:

This Government has been very clear that parking charges are not, and should not be, a town hall stealth tax on local residents.

We have scrapped the Labour government's guidance which pressured councils to hike up parking charges. Indeed, making sure that car parking charges are reasonable is an important way in which councils can help support their local high streets and local shops.

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Parking charges were 'holding residents to ransom'

The AA has been warning authorities of councils increasing parking charges, the head of public affairs said today, after campaigners won a landmark High Court victory against Barnet council.

AA 'warned' authorities over parking charge increases. Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA Archive

Paul Watters said: "Some authorities have been saying they cannot fix the potholes or clear ice from the roads unless CPZs are extended and prices increased.

"This is in effect holding residents and drivers to ransom. That is totally unacceptable.

"This case must be a warning to other local authorities that try to profit from ramped up charges, unnecessary extended controlled zones, use CCTV for mass ticketing or argue the case for increased levels of penalty when there is already sufficient deterrent.

"Of course, we need to secure adequate funding for council services, but this is not the way."

Barnet Council to appeal parking charges decision

Barnet council leader, Richard Cornelius has conceded that an increase in parking charges had been carried out "too abruptly and rather charmlessly", but said there would be an appeal.

Mr Cornelius said:

Both our pricing and spending are very much in line with other London boroughs and I very much believe that our spending of the income from our parking account on items such as road maintenance and transport services is entirely within the scope of the special parking account under the Road Traffic Act.

With that in mind I don't think we have any alternative but to look to appeal this decision.

That said it is fairly clear that the council raised the price of parking permits, after five years of a price freeze, too abruptly and rather charmlessly. I will make sure that doesn't happen again.

Barnet parking charge increases were 'morally wrong'

Campaigners objecting increased parking charges said that the increases had made parking in Barnet's quiet residential streets "more expensive than parking outside Harrods" after their victory in the High Court today.

David Attfield, a member of Barnet CPZ Action group. Credit: Apollo Public Relations/PA Wire

Mr Attfield said after: "Barnet Council has been caught picking the pockets of CPZ residents.

"Despite making up less than 10% of the borough, they were being made to contribute disproportionately to a range of services such as road repairs and the provision of bus passes across the borough.

"Today's judgment confirms what I have maintained all along: that Parliament never intended local authorities to take a large cut every time a book club meets, mums get together for coffee or a washing machine is repaired.

"It is regrettable that Barnet has spent over two years, and tens of thousands of pounds, standing by their charges which they should have known were legally and morally wrong."

RAC questions why Barnet raised parking charges

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, has said today's ruling quashing parking charge increases in Barnet was "fantastic news for drivers".

Mr Glaister said:

The law is explicit - parking charges are about managing congestion, not raising revenue. If there is a surplus collected, then there are strict rules on what it can be used for.

The question is: why did Barnet ever think it had an arguable case to pick on one group of residents to shoulder an additional tax?

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