Grove Park CPZ To Go Before Scrutiny Committee
Local councillors challenge move on parking consultation
The controversial issue of a public consultation on a limited CPZ for streets bordering Chiswick House Gardens, will come before Hounslow Council’s Scrutiny Committee next week, Monday, September 3rd.
The meeting will take place at the Civic Centre at 7 p.m. and local groups and residents from the affected streets in Grove Park are expected to attend.
Ten local councillors have issued a 'call in', challenging what they believe is the “unauthorised” issuing of a public consultation by Cllr. Ed Mayne, the cabinet member with responsibility for parking. .
Councillor Sam Hearn (pictured) has said he will try to have the location of the meeting changed to Chiswick, to facilitate local residents.
Under the ‘call-in’ procedure, ten councillors can request that a decision be scrutinised by the Committee. Scrutiny is the process that holds the various functions of the council accountable. It is unusual for councillors to request a ' call-in' over an issue.
Residents or local groups with an interest in the issue are advised to submit any questions they wish to raise or statements they want to make to the Overview and Scrutiny committee by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday 30th August.
It is understood there will be some time allocated towards the end of the meeting to make comments or ask questions.
The issue of the possible introduction of a limited controlled parking zone (CPZ) in streets bordering Chiswick House has divided opinion amongst local residents. The issue arose out of a decision to allow Chiswick House and Gardens to start charging for users of its car park from September 12th.
Cllr Ed Mayne, who has responsibility for parking, has stated previously that he believes the consultation is necessary to take into account the views of residents in nearby streets who are likely to be affected by displacement parking when car-park charges are introduced .
However local councillors believe that this is unnecessary, and a waste of public money, since a consultation on CPZ for Grove Park was already rejected last year by a majority of residents and by the Chiswick Area Committee.
Those in favour of introducing CPZ include the Park and Staveley Road Association- a newly-formed group which claims it has the backing of up to 400 residents.
The Overview & Scrutiny Committee can decide to take no further action, or to refer the matter back to cabinet or full Council for deliberation.
Earlier this year Cllr Ed Mayne said that he was personally neutral on the issue of CPZ 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.”
In their letter to the Overview and Scrutiny Panel, the ten councillors say that they believe the decision should be 'called in' on the grounds that it is unnecessary, and a waste of officers’ time and public funds.
They claim it is “illogical“ to consult on the impact of the car-park charges until any new patterns of parking behaviour are established.
They also state that the decision to re-consult residents in two streets ignores the wishes of the majority of residents in the ward and these have been outlined in previous CPZ consultations and a petition. Furthermore, their letter adds, the proposed consultation also ignores a recent unanimous decision of the CAC not to re-consult.
Support for Councillor Mayne's decision on consultation recently came from the Park and Staveley Road Residents Association. Jan Shawe said;
"Car park charges at Chiswick House on the A4 will undoubtedly make commuter parking even worse in Park and Staveley Roads. The lack of action by the Council in addressing this problem over a number of years (including allowing Chiswick Station to become the only station in Hounslow without a cpz) does it no credit. Councillor Mayne should be supported in his attempt to improve this situation. He knows the severity of the parking problem in Park and Staveley roads and the safety issues they engender."
A controlled parking regime operating two hours a day was suggested by the association on an experimental basis.
The car-park charges agreed for Chiswick House car-park will apply between 8.00 am to 6.00 pm, Mondays to Sunday (including Bank Holidays) from 12th September 2012. It will cost £1 for up to two hours, £4 for up to four hours and £15 above six hours. A proposal to sell season tickets for the park was not adopted. The principle of introducing charges at the car park was agreed by both the Chiswick Councillors and Councillor Mayne.
August 27, 2012