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3:06PM

Cllr Brian Gordon "Brian Coleman's defeat was not really attributable to Barnet Council parking policy"

Brian Gordon, Conservative Councillor for Hale Ward, has a letter published in this week's edition of Hamodia (£ printed edition only)

In it he claims that Brian Coleman was a victim of the swing of against all Conservatives and that he would have lost even if he hadn't put through his 'radical parking changes'.

Displaying some of the trademarked Gordon chutzpah, even though the parking changes weren't a major electoral issue, he effectively begs voters not to punish him he 'firmly opposed' the changes but points to an unidentified 'majority' on the Conservative Group who he says backed them!

In response to Mrs R. Heller, (Letters 24th May) I repeat my comment that Brian Coleman's defeat at the London Assembly was not really attributable to the Barnet Council parking policy that he spearheaded. It is true that Mr Coleman lost a significant number of personal votes due to that policy, but the general swing against the Conservatives throughout London was sufficiently large that even without the parking issue he could not possibly have held the Barnet and Camden seat.

A comparison of 14 London constituency results with those of the previous election in 2008 reveals that the 4.90 per cent change in Barnet and Camden was quite consistent with the general change throughout the capital. This is a more informative analysis than a comparison with the Boris versus Ken mayoral vote where numerous people voted according to quite different criteria.

My disappointment at Mr Coleman's defeat had nothing to do with parking. As an Assemblyman and Barnet Cabinet member he was always supportive on Jewish issues and helpful wherever possible on facilities the community needed. In a political environment where the Jewish community is not exactly overflowing with friends and supporters I would question the wisdom (and indeed the daas Torah) of those who sought to project local dissatisfaction parking policy as a community vendetta against this one non-Jewish individual, who happens to be a friend. Furthermore, parking affects everyone, not just Jews, and Mr Coleman, outspoken though he is, could not have carried through his radical parking changes (some of which I firmly opposed behind the scenes) without the backing of the majority of Councillors on the controlling group.

Finally it is disappointing that Mrs Heller used her letter as an opportunity to take a gratuitous swipe at Jewish councillors as a whole. If I wished to take up the space I could detail a long list of positive results achieved by Councillors for the benefit of the community, especially in the area of schools and education. If your correspondent has an axe to grind it would be appreciated if she would do so with due regard to the issurim pertaining to collective lashon hara (evil tongue).

Yours faithfully

Cllr Brian Gordon
London Borough of Barnet

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