David Attfield, the lawyer leading the campaign against Barnet council's proposed CPZ fees hike, faces crippling legal costs if he loses in the High Court. Why? Because Barnet pushed for there to be no cap on the costs that the losing side must pay. And Barnet are making sure their fees go sky-high as they have retained a top QC, James Goudie, to represent them.
That's our money Barnet council are staking on the outcome of this court case!
David Attfield and the concerned residents of Barnet who live in a Controlled Parking Zone and resent the huge hike in fees have a right to test the legality of what Barnet is doing.
If Barnet council cared about justice and about justice being seen to be done they would accept that, accept a cap on fees, and just let the judge get on and decide the points of law. Instead, their action threatens to cheat the angry residents of their day in court by inflating the costs and frightening them into dropping the case.
I know that a number of residents met last night to discuss their response to this latest blow. I don't know what they have decided. If they decide to go all the way and Barnet council loses, it will be on the council's head as far as I'm concerned. I don't see why David Attfield et al should be morally blackmailed.
Here's the latest Times series report of the case and here is the Barnet CPZ Action blog.
Around 10% of Barnet residents live in a CPZ.