Hey, its one way to get a free lunch:
Mr Toad gets a brief mention on 'Have I Got News For You':
- Aug 5, 2009 1:11 PM NB - This site is no longer being updated
- Jun 30, 2009 12:09 PM A Coleman compendium
- Jun 25, 2009 12:25 PM Mayor’s attendance at bike rally completes the cycle of hypocrisy:
- Jun 25, 2009 12:16 PM Ian Clement: that lunch with Brian Coleman
- Jun 5, 2009 9:10 AM Coleman’s horrific serial killer plans:
About me:NB - This site is no longer being updated with any regularity. So, for the latest on Mr Toad, please see the blog:
For the full sorry story on Mr Toad, complete with references – please see his entry in Wikipedia;
For brevity, here are some bullet points explaining why this Barnet Councillor and London Assembly member -Brian Coleman (aka Mr Toad) has GOT to go!
* He opposed Middlesex University's plans to expand its Trent Park campus saying: “Why should the people of north London suffer in order to attract hundreds of foreign students? They are such a crap university they only attract foreign ones.” He went on to say: “Middlesex University have really got to concentrate on their priorities and building facilities for foreign students because they can’t attract British students is not one of them.”
* He forced through a new road scheme to be built across a primary school playing field (Metropolitan Open Land adjoining the Green Belt). Rather than debate the environmental and planning merits of the scheme, he chose instead to use a straw man, effectively labelling local parents and environmental campaigners - his constituents mark you - as a bunch of racists, "idiots" and "the usual Nimby brigade".
* He was the only objector to the erection of a wind turbine at Frith Manor Primary School.
* During his time as a councillor in the London Borough of Barnet, Coleman has built up a reputation as an outspoken supporter of car driving, leading Richard Littlejohn to label him a "hero" for introducing a policy of removing road humps when the roads of Barnet are resurfaced. Road safety critics argue that the policy is reckless and driven by populism and self promotion.
* Coleman was caught by a speed camera exceeding a 30mph speed limit in Borehamwood in January 2006. He already had 9 points on his driving licence. On 9 August 2006 at St Albans Magistrates' Court, Coleman was given three points on his licence, banned from driving for six months and fined £300.
* Partingdale Lane: Coleman takes great pride in his campaign to re-open Partingdale Lane, a narrow country road with no pavement, between Mill Hill and Woodside Park in London. The lane was closed by Barnet's previous Labour council for safety reasons, not least that residents of nearby Woodside Park had been using the road as a high speed rat-run. The road was reopened in December 2002, before being closed again two months later following a High Court judgement. Following a £250,000 safety improvement project, the road was reopened in September 2007. Coleman accused residents of staging one of the two car accidents reported in the weeks following the reopening of Partingdale Lane. A third collision in Partingdale Lane in May 2008 brought further criticism of Coleman. A Lib Dem councillor commented that "Brian Coleman is like a child with a favourite toy. He just wouldn't let this go and his colleagues let him do it to make up for the fact that they'll never make him leader of the council". Coleman, cabinet member for community safety, said he was too busy to comment.
* He is Barnet Counciil’s Cabinet Member for Community Engagement. One can only assume that this is engagement in the military sense.
* He said Potters Fields Park (between City Hall and Tower Bridge) should be replaced by a multi-storey car park.
* He ‘outed’ Ted Heath in the New Statesman thus: "The late Ted Heath managed to obtain the highest office of state after he was supposedly advised to cease his cottaging activities in the 1950s when he became a privy councillor."
* Healleged that Sir Ian Blair the Metropolitan Police Commissioner was "somewhat the worse for wear at a number of official functions" and "needed assistance from his protection officers to manage the stairs". Mayor Ken Livingstone was reported to have responded that "The London Assembly should stop giving a platform to a person who in addition to putting out all sorts of smears and gossip is also a died-in-the-wool Thatcherite who in no way represents the views of most Londoners".
London Assembly: * As Chairman of the London Assembly, Coleman introduced the old Greater London Council Chairman's badge and has made the role considerably more civic-based than previous holders of the post. This has led some critics to label Coleman as "pompous" and "self important", not least because of the high number of honorary and civic positions he has held in the past and continues to hold at present.
* On his re-election to the Assembly in May 2008, Coleman made an angry acceptance speech at the count in which he announced that "the king of bling is back" before storming out, accompanied by his mother.
Cab fares: * In July 2007 he was criticised by Livingstone for spending £10,000 on taxi fares from 1st April 2006 to 30th March 2007, compared to the average figure for a London Assembly member of around £845. This period coincided with the six months that Coleman was banned from driving.
* A GLA audit panel report in October 2007 showed that Coleman had run up taxi expenses of £1740 in the period 1st April 2007 to 31st August 2007. This accounted for one third of all cab expenses for the Mayor and 25 GLA members. He was criticised by Livingstone for "creating a chauffeur service for himself" and by the leader of the Barnet Council Labour group for his "breathtaking arrogance".
* A further GLA audit panel report in March 2008 revealed that Coleman had run up taxi expenses of £4157 in the period 1st April 2007 to 31st December 2007. This accounted for half of all cab expenses for the Mayor and 25 GLA members. Livingstone asked "Brian Coleman must explain to Londoners how he can possibly justify spending more on taxis in four weeks than the average Assembly member does in nine months."
* In the Metro Newspaper, Coleman claimed not to use taxis but said he thought he was being ferried about in 'an official GLA car'. They reported that in December 2007 he ran up a £412.50 cab fare on a round-trip from his home in Finchley to a nearby meeting where the driver kept the meter running before taking him to City Hall.
* Another GLA audit panel report in July 2008 revealed that Coleman had run up taxi expenses of £8231 in the period 1st April 2007 to 31st March 2008. This accounted for nearly half of all the cab expenses of the Mayor and 25 assembly members. On one day alone Coleman ran up a cab bill of £656. Speaking to the Metro Newspaper, assembly member Jenny Jones said that he justifies the expense because he has taken to wearing gold chains from another era - "He doesn't need to wear these chains but his ego's out of its cage".
London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority: *Outlining areas of potential cutbacks to a London Assembley committee in September 2008, Coleman suggested that the London Fire Brigade Museum should be closed. He said that "having recently visited the fire brigade museum – we shook the cobwebs off the door as we opened it – I have to say that it is not a museum that is fit for purpose or that in my view contributes anything", adding .."when you've seen one brass helmet you have seen them all".
Who I'd like to meet:
- Status: Single
- Zodiac Sign: Cancer