Park and pray
by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2008-06-24
Rabbis as well as other recognised religious lay leaders will be able to get a parking permit to make parking in the London Borough of Barnet easier.
The council, which includes areas such as Edgware, Hendon and Golders Green, is introducing the special parking permit for people performing religious duties in the Borough that will allow them to park in residents parking bays to get closer and quicker to congregants at times of need.
"The importance of religion to many Barnet residents cannot be underestimated and the council has acknowledged this with a policy that will assist spiritual leaders when engaging with people in times of illness or crisis," said Mike Freer, leader of the Council. "This new permit shows our commitment to improving the quality of life for local residents and increasing wider participation for all in religious, cultural and community life."
As well as the Jewish faith, the permit would apply to people carrying out religious duties for other faiths including Baha'i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam.
Under the trial scheme, a maximum of three permits per religious organisation is allowed with an annual fee of £40 for the first one and £70 each for the next two.
Andrew Harper, cabinet member for environment and transport, added: "Introducing parking permits for people undertaking religious duties widens the opportunities for the faith communities of the borough. Our new community parking permit will enable the most vulnerable to obtain the care, guidance and support they require."