Highgate Village butcher wins fight to have parking fines quashed

A butcher who went to war with a council CCTV car sent to snoop on traders has won his battle against hundreds of pounds in parking fines – thanks to the Ham&High.

Highgate Butchers, which has been at the heart of the village community for the past 37 years, feared it may lose its trustworthy supplier, Clark and Son, because of constant fines by Haringey Council.

In just one week the supplier was ticketed three times for parking in Highgate High Street outside the shop, landing meat supplier Justin Clark with a �330 bill.

Ironically, the CCTV car is allowed to flout parking rules in order to catch people out.

But after appealing against the fines, butcher Lee Harper, who runs the family business with his mother Phyllis, is delighted the charges have been dropped.

He is now calling for the council to do more to support independent traders.

“We began appealing straight away after Justin was fined,” Mr Harper said. “Justin’s wife sent off the Ham&High news clipping about what happened and I wrote a letter to the council supporting him.

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“Last week, after a lot of pressure and support from the Ham&High, I found out the fines had finally been dropped.”

The Harper family bought Highgate Butchers in 1975.

It survived an IRA bomb outside the Oxfam shop in 1993, an attack by animal rights’ extremists and the BSE “mad cow disease” crisis.

Yet losing its supplier of 10 years would have been a massive blow for the business.

“It just wasn’t fair,” said Mr Harper. “How on earth was our supplier supposed to drop the meat off into the shop if he can’t park outside?

“We haven’t seen the CCTV car lately either. Good riddance to it. Catching decent people out trying to make a living by parking illegally themselves is double standards.”

Restrictions are in place along the high street between 8am and 9.30am and between 5pm and 6.30pm.

The butcher still thinks the rules should be relaxed to allow more time in the morning for deliveries.

“Haringey did listen in the end,” said Mr Harper. “But my supplier is having to park elsewhere, which is not sensible.

“The council has to reasonable. The restrictions in the morning are bad for businesses.

“This is just about the council having some common sense and supporting local businesses.”

Cllr Nilgun Canver, cabinet member for the environment, said: “I would like arrange to speak to Mr Harper and take a careful look at this matter to help find a solution for him.”

This week the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum released results of a survey which called for better parking, less traffic and more independent shops in Highgate.