Councillors' Attendance Statistics
Agenda and minutes
Environment and Sustainability Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 7:00 pm
Venue: Salon, York House, Richmond Road, Twickenham
Contact: Gary Lelliott; 020 8891 7275; Email: email@example.com
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Cardy, Councillor McLeod, Councillor Stanier, Councillor Warren and James Page.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Members are requested to declare any interests orally at the start of the meeting and again immediately before consideration of the matter. Members are reminded to specify the agenda item number to which it refers and whether the interest is of a personal or prejudicial nature.
Members are also reminded of the requirements of Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 that they should declare and not vote on specified matters if they are two months or more in arrears with their Council Tax payments.
CALL-IN OF THE ST MARGARETS SOUTH CPZ EXTENSION REVIEW CABINET MEMBER DECISION
Councillor Khosa and Councillor Morgan both declared personal interests in this item by virtue of being Councillors for St Margarets and North Twickenham ward.
REPRESENTATIONS BY THE PUBLIC (IF ANY)
· Mr James Duffell
· Mr Noel Josephides
· Mr John Tovey
· Ms Lesley Hall
· Ms Mary Ainscough
EXECUTIVE DECISIONS CALLED IN (IF ANY)
This meeting was convened to discuss the call-in of the Cabinet Member Decision relating to the St Margarets South CPZ Extension Review. There were no other executive decisions that had been subject to call-in.
In accordance with Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rule 16, the Chief Executive (as Proper Officer) has called in the following cabinet member decision, having been requested to do so by two members of the Environment and Sustainability Overview and Scrutiny Committee:
“ I hereby
(a) approve the continued operation of the St Margarets South CPZ in Bridge Road and Winchester Road
(b) approve the advertisement of a further extension in St Margarets South CPZ to incorporate Moormead Road, Cole Park View and Sidney Road. The advertisement of the extension of the CPZ to also include Kenley Road and Godstone Road to afford residents of these roads the opportunity to reconsider their position in the light of this further extension to the CPZ. A very clear letter should also be sent to residents and businesses detailing such.”
The reasons for the call-in, as supplied by Councillor Head and Councillor Fleming, are as follows:
1) The Cabinet Member failed to consider CPZ implementation on a zonal basis as undertaken by Cabinet on 17th July 2006, (“point 3.2 the decision by the Cabinet Member should be based on considerations of the response rate, the level of support among those responding and within a viable area finally considered for a CPZ and congestion and road safety conditions. There will be no set numeric thresholds as such but a majority will always need to be in favour of a proposed zone.”) We note that in this case, of 779 households contacted in the zone only 155 (less than a fifth) supported implementation. As a result of this failure an extension has been implemented which has not assessed the overall impact of the St. Margaret’s CPZ on the amenity of residents and local life.
2) There have been inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the voting figures because of poor consultation methods. (Appendix 2, CPZ Policy document of 17/07/06 “The council will consult, by letter, all properties within the agreed consultation area. The Council recognises that a CPZ can have a significant impact on a community. It is, therefore, essential to create awareness of the consultation and to encourage participation from as many residents and businesses as possible in the area”)
3) The Council’s own Parking study of Nov. 2007 disclosed that “overnight parking congestion is far worse than during the day with over 100 more residents’ vehicles parked” See Appendix C, pages 97 to 113 of TCG Agenda of 20th May 2009 which bears this out. The Parking Enforcement Plan of Sept 2006 states under point 4.14, “CPZs will only be considered where they resolve a specific or identified problem and will not lead to unacceptable displacement”. The problem of lack of night-time parking has not been addressed and the original CPZ has led to unacceptable displacement. This is why additional roads are being re-consulted.
4) The 20/05/09 TCG decision brings in Godstone and Kenley Roads who voted “NO” and who are to be consulted by letter as to whether they now want to be included, otherwise they will be boxed in by the CPZ. This is clear coercion.
5) The decision introduces Moor Mead Road with housing on only one side of the road. If parking space is lost on both sides, this will impact on Godstone and Kenley Roads and the local community.
6) CPZ creep means that Sidney Road residents feel pressurised. 9 extra households have, therefore, changed their vote. Again this is implementation by coercion.
7) Including results from only 1 house (one unoccupied) in Hill View Road (close to Cole Park View) skews the true picture. Hill View Road must remain outside the CPZ as it provides vital central parking. Again CPZ creep might change that.
8) The unreasonable refusal by the Chairman to allow the registered representative of Mr Noel Josephides, of Sidney Road, to speak on his behalf which is contrary to the published policy procedure of the Council which permits agents to speak on behalf of individuals. (Procedure Notes: “Members of the public have the opportunity to address the Group on all substantive agenda items”)
9) We have the implementation of a CPZ extension that inequitably and unreasonably surrounds and threatens non-controlled roads, contrary to their original wish to stay outside a CPZ. Therefore, this CPZ and its extension is an imposition by the administration of a subjective policy, without the support of the majority of the residents. It is contrary to fair and reasonable standards of administrative practice.“
Report of the Cabinet Member for Traffic, Transport and Parking attached.
1. Introduction to the item (Councillor Head)
Councillor Head introduced the item by making the following points:
Councillor Head responded to questions from members of the Committee:
o There was a single road CPZ in South Twickenham Ward?
Ø Although there was a single road CPZ in Councillor Head’s ward, it was an isolated location and therefore could still be treated as its own zone.
o Should Godstone Road and Kenley Road not be included in the extension, now that they have voted in favour?
Ø It was unfair to include Godstone and Kenley Roads in the CPZ as the cost of permits was very high.
o Should the whole area be removed from the CPZ?
Ø It was difficult to withdraw a CPZ from an area that had had one introduced as people were then reluctant to leave it again.
o Should Richmond upon Thames follow the example of Kensington and Chelsea?
Ø Richmond should not follow the example of Kensington and Chelsea, where the entire borough was a CPZ and many roads had extended hours of operation.
o What was the main issue for the St Margarets area?
Ø The identified problem in the St Margarets area was that of night time parking, not commuter parking.
o As the identified problem was night time parking, should the hours of operation for the COZ be extended?
Ø The Hours of this CPZ should not be extended any further.
o What other things could be done to solve the problem of night time parking, which is an issue many authorities had not been able to solve?
Ø There were outstanding suggestions from residents that had not been taken into consideration, such as echelon parking in some roads.
o Why should residents be taken out of a CPZ if they were happy with the way it was operating?
Ø People should not be charged for living within a CPZ.
o What type of CPZ does not cause displacement of parked vehicles?
Ø There is no CPZ which does not cause displacement of parked vehicles, however the CPZ should be large enough to mitigate the displacement over a bigger area.
o What evidence was there of coercion?
Ø This was evidenced by people’s changing votes. Where there were 25 people against the CPZ in one road, this had since reduced to 21 over repeated consultation exercises.
o How could roads like Kenley Road be accounted for, when they originally voted in favour of a CPZ and this subsequently changed?
Ø This could be attributed to apathy caused by repeated consultation exercises.
o Repeatedly asking people the same question until the desired answer is reached is coercion?
Councillor Mumford stated that the electoral register was not suitable for carrying out consultations as it did not include names and addresses of those people not registered to vote. Councillor Head suggested that the Council Tax register may be better suited to carry out consultations, although Councillor Mumford said this had issues as people could be living outside this area and still be on the Council Tax register.
Councillor Head stated that there should be a very thorough parking study conducted, which aimed to find out the main parking issues in the area and what was causing them. This could then inform any further action.
2. Registered speakers
Mr James Duffell (resident of Chertsey Road) made the following points:
In response to questions from the Committee, Mr Duffell advised the meeting of the following:
o The parking study was carried out at various times of the day on three occasions. An average figure of the number of parked vehicles was then calculated.
o Although the Grove flats were included in the figures for Winchester Road, they did not have an initial vote.
Mr Noel Josephides (resident of Sidney Road) made the following points:
In response to questions from the Committee, Mr Josephides advised the meeting of the following:
o Before the CPZ was first introduced in the area, everybody was able to find a space in which to park their vehicle eventually. This extension made the situation worse.
o A problem had been created while trying to resolve another.
o The reason the CPZ was not working in resolving issues on this side of the railway line was because there was a piecemeal approach in trying to address them.
o Reducing the width of extremely large vehicle crossovers would help with trying to provide additional space for vehicles.
o There were issues with motorcycles parking inconsiderately in the area, which could be addressed with racks.
Councillor Head stated that there was a negative effect on traders in the area.
Councillor Khosa reported that he had been in contact with the Crown Road Traders’ Association and they had not expressed any concern about the CPZ extension. Councillor Head suggested that residents and businesses in the area may be experiencing apathy from repeated consultations.
Councillor Morgan said the Zone S CPZ had been a great success and that he had received no complaints from residents or businesses. It was also noted that the CPZ was operating well on the other side of the railway. Councillor Head re-emphasised that it was the piecemeal approach to introducing this CPZ which was causing the problem.
Councillor Elloy said that utilising as much additional space as possible may help the situation although Councillor Mumford felt that introducing motorcycle racks would mean motorcyclists would experience the issues of car owners and be able to park outside their own homes.
Mr John Tovey (resident of Godstone Road) made the following points:
In response to questions from the Committee, Mr Tovey advised the meeting of the following:
o Residents felt that they were in an untenable situation as the CPZ was expanding road-by-road and was creating issues for those who live in roads with no parking controls.
o If the CPZ was introduced as a whole, then many of the issues that were being experienced now would have been resolved.
o There was an initial ‘no’ vote by many residents and this needed to be listened to.
o The ramifications of voting either way should be made clearer on consultation documents.
Councillor Khosa stated that those in roads where there were no parking controls would benefit from being in the CPZ as that meant they were then able to park in other roads where there was free space.
Councillor Mumford suggested that if residents were never asked again about joining a CPZ, they could be suffering from parking problems with no solution to them.
Ms Lesley Hall (resident of Kenley Road) made the following points:
In response to questions from the Committee, Ms Hall advised the meeting of the following:
o The inclusion of Moor Mead Road in the CPZ would compromise the use of Moormead Park.
o CPZs made it more difficult for carers to see their clients and Ms Hall cited the example that she had to give up being a carer because CPZs made it impossible for her to do her job.
o Winchester Road had only started experiencing problems with parking when Broadway Avenue was included in a CPZ.
Ms Mary Ainscough (resident of South Western Road) made the following points:
In response to questions from the Committee, Ms Hall advised the meeting of the following:
o The Council was misleading residents in its consultation documents by using the term “possible extension”.
o People were being asked to make a decision without all of the facts.
o Problems arose when people were under the impression that they were voting for a zone, but then discovered that it would be introduced on a road-by-road basis.
3. Address by Councillor Head on new information
Councillor Head said that she wanted the impact on businesses in the area to be considered carefully.
4. Cabinet Member and officer response
In response to questions from the Committee, the meeting was advised of the following:
o Motorcycle bays could be introduced, however if some crossovers were very large, this would require some engineering work to be carried out at a cost. There were also policy implications involved with reducing the width of people’s crossovers, once they had been installed.
o Longer bays were introduced as opposed to partitioned ones as they generally allowed for a greater number of cars to park.
o It had been previous CPZs on a road-by-road basis.
o There had not previously been issues with residents misinterpreting consultation forms or maps for CPZ reviews.
o The database was readily cross-referenced with Royal Mail’s own database and the Council Tax database is not available to across the council.
o A timescale for a wide reaching update of the property database was not available due to staffing implications.
o There was no evidence that the latest consultation had any errors with addresses and officers were not aware of any complaints.
o There were 19 houses in Winchester Road missed off of the first consultation.
o Signs were placed on lampposts in the area, which advertised the consultation.
o If a resident reported that they had not received a copy of the consultation documents, they were sent another one.
o A feasibility study was carried out on the possibility of echelon parking, but this was deemed unacceptable by the Development Control as it would result in a loss of green space around Moor Mead Park and a total cost in the hundreds of thousands of pounds.
o There were no known solutions for the issue of night time parking and this was a London-wide problem.
o Consultation on CPZs included both residents and businesses in a given area.
o Differences in opinion between traders and residents could often be resolved by including a mixture of resident/pay and display bays, as well as shared use bays.
o Shoppers in the St Mary’s Road/Crown Road area had a mixture of pay and display bays and mixed use spaces.
o There were other solutions for using the additional space in Moor Mead Road, such as allowing free parking for an allotted amount of time, which would benefit visitors to the green area.
o CPZs had to occupy both sides of a road as regulations stated that clear signage had to be in place to make restrictions enforceable. This was not possible to do on just one side of a street.
The Cabinet Member for Traffic, Transport and Parking said that each area needed to be looked at on its own merits. He emphasised that although some solutions worked well in some areas, they may not work in others.
Councillor Morgan reported that he had spoken with some traders in the area and they were very pleased with the CPZ as it gave a flow of traffic.
It was reported that people cannot register to speak twice at TCG meetings, or any other meeting of the Council. Mrs Smart was prevented from speaking on behalf of Mr Josephides because she had already spoken for three minutes earlier in the meeting. Councillor Seymour said he felt that some flexibility should be shown where a Council department had clearly made an error.
5. Summary by Councillor Head
Councillor Head re-emphasised her reasons for call-in.
6. Views from members of the committee
The correspondence was very clear and some people may not have read the materials thoroughly. The consultation documents did not state that it was a new CPZ, but an extension to an existing one. Democratic Services should be asked to provide an explanation on what happened with Mrs Smart and Mr Josephides. The decision should be noted.
Officers stated that residents in other areas of the borough did not have issues with understanding consultation documents. This was the right result for the area and the consultation was not ambiguous. The Cabinet Member’s decision was correct and the decision should be noted.
The Council only entered into debates with residents when a CPZ was requested. The processes that had been adopted may need reviewing, but it should be noted that this decision is almost what was requested in 2007. If a decision had been made following the 2007 consultation, the St Margarets CPZ would be at a more advanced stage. The database on this occasion was accurate and leaving out Godstone Road and Kenley Road from future consultations would not be fair. The term ‘zone’ was a technical one and terms to describe various areas should be looked at. Things should be done as objectively as possible and CPZ consultation was extremely democratic. The decision should be noted.
There was ambiguity around the consultation and to just note the decision would be wrong. The decision should be referred back to the Cabinet Member for further consideration.
Ward Councillors wanted to make it clear that this was an amendment to an existing zone and future documents should emphasise this. The decision should be noted.
There was a clear feeling amongst residents that they were coerced and the Council seemed to be ‘pressing on’ until it got the answers it wanted. The social effects the CPZ would have on people should be given consideration. The committee should be made aware of whether the process for registering people to speak at meetings was followed. The Council would not have “fallen to its knees” if some flexibility was shown to Mrs Smart. Preventing her from speaking gave an impression that the Council was not listening. CPZ procedures were not followed correctly as it caused unacceptable displacement of parked vehicles and it did not resolve the identified problem in the area. The decision should be referred back to the Cabinet Member for further consideration.
There was a lot of information based on opinion and not enough on facts. There was no identifiable need to change the decision. The decision should be noted.
Night time parking had not been addressed and people were feeling pressurised to join the CPZ. The map was confusing. Traders did use the area and the option of changing the hours of operation should be included in consultation documents. Procedures should be reviewed and where possible, flexibility should be shown. The decision should be referred back to the Cabinet Member for further consideration.
The consultation and legalities around a CPZ were not clear enough. There needed to be a greater awareness. Different areas required different solutions and the Council should not be using a method that was so blunt.
1. The Cabinet Member’s decision on 20 May 2009 be noted.
2. The procedure for registering people to speak at Council meetings be raised with the Chief Executive by the Chair.
3. The ward councillors look at the issues identified around Moor Mead Road with officers.
The committee agreed that an item for looking at the way CPZ consultations are conducted be added to its work programme.