OpinioN8

Connecting Crouch End and Hornsey with news, views and information

Despite Haringey Council's attempts to keep it quiet, many people may still have noticed that at the beginning of February major changes were proposed to the visitor parking permits available to residents in CPZs. Many others may have not, because the emails informing residents of this and of a supposed 'consultation' were only sent out about a week before the planned closing date. After complaints they did agree to extend the period for replies to 13 March, but even so as an exercise in public consultation this was shambolic.

And today I and I assume many more have had a mail from a Percival Greville of the 'Frontline Consultation' (!) dept of Haringey which with tells me that my opinions have been considered but with considerable waffle then goes on to explain why they have to be ignored and that the Council has no real obligation to consult on such things anyway so we should be grateful for the little we got.

It doesn't actually tell you the result of the consultation or more importantly the decision on the proposal, for which you have to look through the documents available via the link to the Council website. Among them you can find the consultation results with over 400 pages of residents' responses, all of them as far as I could see objecting, often in detail and with extensive arguments. And all of them have been completely ignored.

The next doc, 'Addendum to Parking Charges report' gives the Council's supposed reasons for rejecting objections. For example, not to go on too long – in response to objections to the abolition of 2-hour permits currently at 70p and replacement with 1hr permits at 80p each – it says 'Hourly visitor vouchers can be used consecutively, if parking is required beyond one hour. With the removal of the upper limit on the number that can be purchased, removing the 2 hourly voucher has very little impact.'

It's not hard to work out that to replace a 2hr ticket at 70p with two 1hr tickets at 80p each represents a price increase way over 100% (128%, actually). But this is 'very little impact'? There are more examples in the rest of the doc. These are not reasons, just waffled brush-offs.

And then in the final doc, 'Printed Minutes' we find that the new charges and changes to the permits, to which there had been general public opposition, were signed off virtually unchanged in a 'Cabinet Meeting' on 16 March apparently attended by just one person, Councillor Peter Mitchell, 'Cabinet Member for Environment', who also decreed that they should come into force on 3 April, in other words a full week before Greville of 'Frontline Consultation' informed us about it...

OK, some people may hate cars, and have turned off from reading this already. But that's not the point here. Parking permits are used by all sorts of people, tradespeople, carers, deliveries....

Is all this legal? And do the folks at 'Frontline Consultation' wear tin helmets?

Greville's mail here – 

Dear Resident or Business,

 

Thank you for contacting us with your views.   

 

The main changes proposed include aligning the Council’s CO2 emission banding with the DVLA’s Vehicle Tax bandings, and rationalising the visitor permit offer.

 

Parking policy makes a significant contribution to the delivery of the Council’s Transport Policies and Corporate Plan objectives. Our policies and programmes have been carefully considered to take account of environmental issues and tailored to include related measures that improve air quality by reducing harmful emissions from transport. These also involve us encouraging residents to move to more sustainable modes of transport, including walking and cycling. Whilst many of our residents will still choose to own a car, we hope to encourage a change to less polluting vehicles.  

 

Details of the proposals were published in local newspapers, the London Gazette and on the Councils website. Notices advising of the consultation and details of where to obtain further information were placed in prominent places throughout the borough. An email was sent to all existing CPZ permit holders who had given their details to the Council. This was in excess of 20,000 residents.

 

In summary the main feedback falls into four main categories.   There are additional groupings for other comments.   The council has considered the representations/objections received within a detailed report on the consultation and related issues, which is available on our website and accessible using the following link:  

  http://www.minutes.haringey.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=435&...

 

While these responses deal with the majority of issues raised,  it is worth pointing out that consultations of this type are not ballots and we appreciate that price increases are generally unwelcome. We are interested in residents’ views – but in the context of national Government and local transport policy.  Your views and comments help us ensure that our policy and practice is well-organised and deliverable and has taken important factors into account

 

The changes proposed  not only support delivery of the Council’s agreed Transport Strategy but will also encourage the use of more fuel efficient vehicles, help manage demand for parking space, reduce short car trips, encourage walking & cycling and the use of public transport.

 

Thank you again for your participation.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Greville Percival 

Frontline Consultation

London Borough of Haringey

River Park House, 225 High Road,

Wood Green, London N22 8HQ

Tel: 0208 489 1326 

 

www.twitter.com/haringeycouncil

www.facebook.com/haringeycouncil

 

 

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One is reminded of that famous misquote from "Lives of a Bengal Lancer"  - 'Well, gentlemen? We have ways to make men twalk.'
 Apparently Haringey are simply following orders. 
The good news is that I will be able to buy as many parking permits for 80p an hour as I want, and sell them to local shop keepers (for £1 perhaps) so that they no longer have to shuffle between zones A and B between 10 and 2

Exactly.. since, theoretically, the point of a CPZ and visitor parking permits is to reduce parking congestion and deter people from driving into an area, the potential creation of a 'free market' in parking permits with the new system should be a complete no-no...
Unless of course it's the latest Haringey wheeze for promoting small business and entrepreneurial activity in these austere times...

Not sure but I think the obeying orders bit refers to adapting the CPZ regime to vehicle emission standards, which I don't imagine many people would object to. The abolition of 2hr permits and the 128% price whack, I think, is entirely Haringey's own choice.

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