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The move could signal a change in Barnet’s controversial parking policy

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Defeated Conservative London Assembly member Brian Coleman was ditched as Barnet Council’s environment chief last night (Thursday, May 10).

Cllr Coleman was one of the highest profile political scalps claimed in the London Assembly elections last week, a defeat largely blamed on the controversial parking reforms he steered through on Barnet Council.

The move to oust him from the cabinet is a further blow to the Totteridge councillor, who has also been stripped of his role as chairman of the London Fire Authority after losing his London Assembly seat last week.

Golders Green Cllr Dean Cohen was appointed to take over the cabinet environment portfolio and Cllr Coleman is now chairman of the budget and performance overview and scrutiny committee.

Cllr Cohen has been a critic of the controversial parking reforms, under which all pay and display parking meters have been scrapped and replaced by a new pay by phone system, and significant price increases have been introduced.

His appointment is likely to signal a departure on the policy.

A Conservative source told the Ham&High: “The council has to be a listening council. We have heard the message and I would be surprised if there weren’t some announcements concerning parking.”

The stripping of his posts has left Cllr Coleman, who once earned £120,000 a year, will a shrunken pay packet of £14,000.

Cllr Coleman was unavailable for comment.

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