Labour considers action after news Barking councillor owes parking fines and fees

Josie Channer

Josie Channer - Credit: Archant

Labour councillors are deciding whether to take “further action” over revelations a councillor owed thousands in parking fees and late fines.

Barking and Dagenham councillor Josie Channer stepped down from running as a parliamentary candidate in Kingswood near Bristol this month when details of the penalties emerged.

According to the BBC she owed more than £2,000.

The council confirmed Cllr Channer had outstanding fines and fees - although would not confirm the amount - and said she was paying the money back in instalments.

As the Thames ward representative has not breached the councillor’s code of conduct she is allowed to continue to stand in the borough but the Labour Party have the power to suspend her from the party.

This week a spokesman from the London Labour Party said the matter had been referred to the Labour Group of councillors in Barking and Dagenham “who will consider what has happened and whether any further action may be appropriate”.

He added: “Cllr Channer appears to have been treated no more or less favourably than any other resident of the borough over the issue of parking tickets.”

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Resident Lynn Shepherd called for the Cllr Channer to resign. She said: It’s absolutely disgraceful. Councillors should set an example, which she obviously hasn’t.”

Former Thames ward Labour councillor Fred Barnes said residents would no doubt question if she had indeed received preferential treatment from the council over the penalties.

He added: “They may also ask why she hasn’t stood down until the matter is dealt with.”

A close friend said Cllr Channer, who has not commented on her future as a councillor, had been left “devastated” by the revelations.