Tuesday night’s meeting of the council’s traffic management committee looks like being a more interesting encounter than usual, as the Conservative-dominated policy group will assemble having been accused of prejudicing its latest “consultation” on ramping up the restrictions for residents, and anyone working at or visiting the area around Mayday Hospital.
The controversial consultation, ordered by the council’s scrutiny committee, only began last week, and is due to run to the end of this month.
But as reported by Inside Croydon last week, the ruling Tory group has already issued its own publicity sheet stating clearly that the new parking regulation will be introduced.
I am contacting you with some concern regarding the Conservative In Touch leaflet currently being delivered in areas across the Borough.
You will note on Page 3 there is an article on the parking consultation that states –
Following the consultation with residents about the possible extension of restricted hours in the Controlled Parking Zones around the borough, your Conservative Council has listened very carefully to residents. As a result it has been decided that most of the extensions will not be carried out and the controlled hours and areas will be left unchanged. The only exception is the busy area around Croydon University Hospital (Mayday) where the changes will be made in order to make it easier for local residents to park.
Cllr Phil Thomas says “We promised that this would be a genuine consultation and the fact that we have listened and changed our plans is proof of this. Residents weighed up the pros and cons and decided, on balance, that they were happy with the existing arrangements, and we have taken heed of that by not pushing through changes”.
Given the consultation the Council has just entered into with local residents, this statement –
- Is either totally inaccurate
- Or implies the Administration of the Council have already made up their minds and the consultation is a mere paper exercise.
Either way, I would suggest this leaflet calls into question the consultation being carried out and implies this consultation is neither fair nor transparent and brings the Council into disrepute.
I would be grateful for you urgent comments.”
Croydon’s Conservative council has form in this regard, having been issued a warning by the Local Government Ombudsman over the introduction of pay and display parking in Coulsdon (a policy which most local traders in the area blame for the decline in their businesses since it was imposed).
On that occasion, the LGO took no further action beyond highlighting “my concern that the leaflets distributed by councillors prior to the decision being made appeared to suggest that the decision had already been reached”.
Will the council’s traffic management committee, under the iron-rule of Phil “Two Permits” Thomas, get away just with a slap on the wrists this time?
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