Nearly 70% of musicians working in the West End’s theatres and clubs would be deterred from accepting work in the West End in the future if Westminster Council introduces parking charges after 6.30pm during weekdays and at the weekend, from 1st August, according to a survey conducted by the Musicians’ Union and submitted to the Council as part of the consultation on the proposals, which will raise an extra £5.9 million a year for the cash-strapped Conservative Council.
In its submission to the Council, the Musicians’ Union says; “Musicians are often are often required to work unsociable hours and carry heavy and valuable instruments and equipment that makes it difficult and risky to use public transport. Many of our members are self-employed and are not sufficiently well-paid to be able to afford the pay the proposed extended parking charges.”
The MU asked its members “If the proposed parking charges were introduced, would they deter you from accepting work in the West End?”. In response, 69% said ‘yes’ and 31% said ‘no’.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said; “The proposed West End evening and weekend parking charges are just another tax on hard working musicians which will drive musicians from the heart of Westminster and damage the entertainment industry. It is simply impractical to expect drummers, double bass players and those musicians carrying a number of expensive and valuable instruments, to use public transport to get to and from the West End. The only option they will have will be to pay over £30 an evening to simply do their job and that will come straight out of their performance fee. It does not surprise me that nearly 70% of musicians say that these parking charges will deter them from working in Westminster in the future.”
“The Council’s plans are nothing more than ‘highway robbery’ and, because they do not live in Westminster, the victims do not even get a vote on kicking out the Conservatives at the next elections. This is all about filling a projected £4 million hole in the Council’s finances and not about creating more parking spaces or making the traffic flow better.”Other news from Westminster Labour