Parking: damned if we do and damned if we don’t

I confess it’s all true.  I’m sitting atop chestfuls of motorists’ cash here in the Town Hall while looking at banks of screens which enable me to direct crack squads of parking wardens to pounce on unwary drivers who have fallen foul of our draconian parking laws.

Okay, it’s a false confession, but one that many people would find easy to believe given the way councils are portrayed when the thorny issue of parking revenues are reported.  Evening Standard 23 Dec 2013 London councils accused of ripping off drivers with £502m parking revenues

And while there’s no getting away from the fact that as a borough we receive the second highest amount of parking revenue, there are sound and sensible reasons  why this is the case.  Our shops, restaurants and museums are nationally (and in some cases internationally) famous and draw large volumes of traffic to the borough.  More traffic equals more parking equals more revenue. Continue reading

State education doesn’t come any better than Holland Park School

In recent years Holland Park School has grown used to plaudits from Ofsted inspectors, enjoyed record breaking exam results and moved into a breathtaking new building, but now, with the New Year just begun, it has received a glowing accolade from an unexpected source and one that would have been nigh on unthinkable a decade ago.

Tatler – a magazine so sensitive to the fine tuning of social nuance that in the current issue it discusses the UK’s most ‘sought after burial spots’ – has just published its first ever guide to state schools.  The guide is designed to give parents who may have previously opted for private education, but who are now feeling the financial squeeze, an insight to the very best in the state system.  And according to Tatler, state education doesn’t come any better than Holland Park School which it names as the best comprehensive in London. Continue reading