Parking Councillor Defends Himself Over Grove Park CPZ

Ed Mayne says consultation with local residents is "fair"

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Councillor Ed Mayne has defended himself against critics of his decision to order a consultation on the possible introduction of controlled parking charges for streets bordering Chiswick House Grounds.

Councillor Mayne, (Isleworth) who is Hounslow Council's Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Regulatory Services,(with responsibility for parking) came under fire from Chiswick councillor Robert Oulds, chairman of the Chiswick Area Committee, who said such a consultation was "unnecessary and a waste of public money". The issue of CPZ in Grove Park as a whole had been rejected already by local people.

Cllr. Oulds had also said that it was " inappropriate" for a councillor who doesn't represent a ward to be imposing something which was completely against the wishes of the local councillors and the residents in that particular area.

The matter is related to the introduction of charges for parking in Chiswick House Grounds. Councillor Mayne, who lived in Park Road for a time, is concerned that there will be a displacement of vehicles from the (currently free) car park to surrounding streets.

In a statement he explained;"Hounslow Council has been approached by the Chiswick House & Gardens Trust to start controlled parking in their car park, which is currently free. This decision can only be taken by the Council Cabinet Committee, delegated to me as the Cabinet Member responsible for parking.

"I initially chose not to approve controlled parking in the car park last year because I didn't see why the limited resources of the Council should be deployed there, especially when considering that the Trust could run a car park themselves.

"The Trust claim the car park is heavily used by commuters. The roads around the park going out of London are free and already congested, so there is potential for displacement, both from commuters and from regular park users choosing to park for free in surrounding roads rather than pay. On top of that the Chiswick Area Committee previously voted to reject all controlled parking in Grove Park and approving a controlled car park seemed to undermine that."

Cllr. Robert Oulds

Councillor Mayne continued; "Following my decision I was approached by representatives from the Trust who made a compelling case that the car park should be safeguarded for genuine visitors. And the Chiswick Area Committee voted to support the proposal, even though it contradicted their earlier decision on controlled parking. So this left us in a state of deadlock.

"To break the deadlock I said I would approve the car park if residents from roads bordering Chiswick Park were consulted on displacement mitigation measures. As a result a consultation will take place whereby residents of Park Road and the part of Staveley Road that borders Chiswick Park will decide whether they want limited controlled parking.

"Personally I am neutral on the issue of controlled parking in Grove Park. Most of the roads burdened by commuter, commercial and visitor vehicles have off street parking so the need for a CPZ is not obvious. However I feel it is only fair that residents of the residential roads that border Chiswick Park are consulted on the displacement effects of my decision to implement charging in the car park.

"Whatever the outcome of the consultation, the Council will start charging for use of the Chiswick House car park later this year".

Councillor Mayne added that he will attend the meeting of the Chiswick Area Committee next week (July 11th) to debate the matter with local councillors.

July 4, 2012