'Orthodox Jews are forbidden to eat meals paid with stolen money': Tory councillor refuses Hackney Council free meal in parking protest row
PUBLISHED: 16:25 08 February 2019
Picture: Polly Hancock
A Tory councillor enraged over parking tickets he claims were wrongly issued on New Year’s Day has vowed not to eat the complimentary supper at Hackney Council meetings – because Orthodox Jewish people are “forbidden” to eat food “paid for with stolen money”.
Aron Klein has demanded Kim Wright cancel 30 PCNs issued in Lordship Road on January 1, claiming signage wasn’t sufficient to inform drivers that restrictions were in place because of an Arsenal Match Day at the Emirates Stadium.
However Ms Wright, group director for neighbourhoods and housing, insists the signage in place met legal requirements.
Since the PCNs were issued, the council has erected five signs in Lordship Road near the nature reserve stating that parking tickets will be issued to cars parked on single yellow lines on bank holidays.
Mr Klein has interpreted this as an indication that the previous signage was not adequate.
In an email to Ms Wright, seen by the Gazette, he praised her for “doing the right thing”, and urged her to refund the parking tickets for 30 families who had come to “visit the wildlife, birds, nature reserve, park and water lakes, as they didn’t see any signs”.
“And until you didn’t pay back the money don’t serve me supper at the council meeting, because Orthodox religious people are forbidden to eat a meal paid for by stolen money,” added the councillor for Stamford Hill West.
Ms Wright insisted the signs had already complied with legal requirements and the additional signs were put up to “make it even clearer”. “As I have replied to you on numerous occasions now in relation to this matter,” she said, “the PCNs on January 1 were served in accordance with our bank holiday and event zone policy, which has been in place, and has been being legally enforced, for some years now.
“There is no money to pay back and your inference that the money from these PCNs is somehow ‘stolen’ is absurd.
“If you still wish to forego the supper at council meetings on the basis of a false premise, then that would be unfortunate but do please let me know if so, and I will make the necessary arrangements.”
Cllr Klein did not say whether he would be refusing his £10,678 annual councillor’s allowance. According to the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, parking revenues can only be spent on schemes related to transport.