The Councillor, who also sits on the Executive of Conservative Way Forward, had been caught up in traffic caused by one of the weekly demonstrations taking place against the bike tax, which was pushed through by Westminster Councillors despite thousands of objections, and the admission that the scheme had been projected to lose over £400,000 in the next year.
Warren Djanogly, of the No To Bike Parking Tax Campaign, said:
“Coming hot on the heels of a Labour candidate being sacked for labelling parts of the electorate as ‘chavs’ and ‘coffin dodgers’, here we have a Conservative activist labelling a group of people who are standing up for themselves against a council cash grab as ‘tossers’. He has has aligned himself with those councillors in Westminster who chose to blatantly ignore the results of a public consultation when it didn’t go their way, and should apologise immediately for an immature public slur such as this.”
When Mr Hamilton became aware of the anger over his comments, he sent out a second tweet saying ‘hilarious reaction to my "tosser" tweet’.
Charlie Lort-Phillips, spokesman for the campaign, added:
“To start by calling active members of the electorate tossers, then to continue by laughing at the offence it has caused, demonstrates admirably the kind of arrogance and self-importance we have received from his fellow councillors in Westminster. In the run up to a General Election, being deliberately offensive to potential voters is a very foolish act. Perhaps if he looked deeper into the behaviour of his friends in Westminster, he would take a different view.”
Opposition Councillors in the borough are calling for a full independent inquiry into the Council’s parking policies, covering the issuing and subsequent cancellation of parking contracts, the CCTV fiasco, above inflation increases in residents’ parking charges, the massively unpopular bike charges, and an ongoing legal case against Westminster by APCOA over claims it was cheated out of a lucrative parking contract.
The protests against the tax occur every Wednesday morning in Central London, when bikes demonstrate the effect of motorbikes and scooters not filtering through traffic on a roundabout – following on from the campaign’s recent statement that ‘if Westminster charge us like cars, we’ll behave like cars’ – and cause delays in the surrounding area within a very short space of time.
Meanwhile the campaign is planning to become involved in the local elections, with leafleting taking place in the days before the election in the wards of Cllr Danny Chalkley and Cllr Colin Barrow, in an effort to persuade voters – if they are voting Conservative - to select a different candidate from the list.
# # #
The No To Bike Parking Fees protest group is the leading voice challenging the introduction of revenue raising parking charges in Westminster, with the support of the Taxpayers' Alliance and others. Further information is at www.notobikeparkingfees.com