Demand for consultation over parking

img_3266A petition demanding Redbridge council consult with Wanstead residents and businesses before it introduces a dramatic new parking scheme has been launched.

The council announced plans which will take effect in February in a leaflet distributed earlier this month, but has not held public meetings in advance of the announcement, even though previous schemes were very widely discussed. The first of two drop-in sessions is being held at Wanstead Library today, Wednesday, but residents are not being given the chance to question officials or council leaders about the plan.

The petition has been launched by Art Trail founder and community activist Donna Mizzi and can be found at or below.

53 thoughts on “Demand for consultation over parking”

  1. I am a little confused as to the petition as I am all for the changes. However a public consultation may be required. Is this petition in favour of stopping the changes or just opening it to consultation?

    It is difficult to tell as Wansteadium appears to be pro people parking where they like rather than independent on such issues. Let us not forget the post some time ago trying to help all the idiots who knew they shouldn’t park in a bus stop but thought they could do so without punishment. Idiots and deserving of a fine.

    I own cars, bikes and feet. Restricting cars on the high street will make it a nicer destination for the majority who use the 2nd and 3rd option. The idiots stopping on double yellows, parking in the disabled spot when they shouldn’t and simply driving badly are a curse on the high street. It was only a few months ago someone was killed crossing at the zebra crossing.

      1. Not disagreeing. My first question asks just that. However, when I clicked on the link it was little about the need for a consultation and more about the need to have it scrapped. I am all for the consultation and my view is that it should be implemented. I don’t want my signature to be taken as support for having it scrapped.

    1. I’m not sure why it should be confusing. What is being asked for is proper consultation so that residents can hear the differing views – including yours, but also those opposing the scheme. Schemes always have planned and unintended consequences and consultation has at least two purposes – to better assess the weight of opinion for change, and if nothing else, to improve /mitigate aspects of the scheme proposals.

    2. Hello there… yes, just to confirm, Wansteadium doesn’t really have an opinion on the rights and wrongs of the parking scheme. But it is in favour of proper consultation, which is fundamentally what Donna’s petition is calling for.

      1. With all due respect, on reading the link, the agenda is to have it scrapped.
        ” It’s vital that these plans are halted now. ”
        “It will also affect many other local businesses, make it impossible to run popular fairs in local halls and schools, damage community events, hit community centres, be a financial burden that many people cannot afford at this time, and have other far-reaching consequences.”

        1. As is the case with all petitions, they are written by the proposer and therefore in line with their personal view/interests. You have the choice to
          A. sign the petition because you think it will most likely achieve your goals of having a proper consultation, or
          B. Not sign the petition because you believe thst it misrepresents your view but risk there being no action as a result because of a poorly supported petition, or
          C. Not sign the petition and create a new one requesting a proper consultation on the basis that the current proposals can not be demonstrated to be in the best interests of the constituents without proper consultation. I would sign your petition and I imagine the Wansteadium would publicist it alongside the existing petition

        2. This petition demands the need for full and proper consultation in Wanstead, with both sides heard. Far-reaching and expensive changes that affect local households and businesses should not be ushered in – for any length of time – without considering the strong arguments against them. In past years, the council sent Wanstead households individual letters asking if they would agree to residential permit parking in their own roads. Most said: “No.”

    3. This petition stresses the importance of democracy and the need for proper consultation before decisions are made that affect almost every household and business. There is no way these far-reaching and expensive changes should be ushered in when there are such strong arguments against them. In the past, many individual households in Wanstead received letters asking if they would agree to having residential parking zones in their roads. Most residents said ‘No’.

    4. This petition demands the need for full and proper consultation in Wanstead, with both sides heard. Far-reaching and expensive changes that affect local households and businesses should not be ushered in – for any length of time – without considering the strong arguments against them. In past years, the council sent Wanstead households individual letters asking if they would agree to residential permit parking in their own roads. Most said: “No.”

    5. I entirely agree. This petition is peddled by the businesses in the Town centre to protect their interest and not the residents of Wanstead. The town centre is filled with cars who do not live in Wanstead blocking the access of local residents. The same lot stoped the building of a Polly clinic which would have placed all our local GP’s in the centre with a modern support facility including a Path Lab. On the last occasion the former MP before he dissapeared from the scene when his financial parliamentary claimed were published. That opportunity was misplaced due to the pressure from the local Bussiness. Don’t let it happen this time. Campaign to protect and enhance residence parking and the Councils plan.

    6. The Council asked me to pay for someone elses ticket due to mistaken identity but they are in denial of the fact that they made a very big mistake which is well documented on cctv. Miscarriage of justice is ok by them as they want the money regardless of the evidence.

  2. I would like a consultation over why I have to pay (and those in the pay areas) and others do not.

    One Wanstead people. Either the council wave the fee for residents altogether and give residents permits or charge everyone who wants to park on the street outside their house.

    It is funny that it is OK for those of us who already pay but once you want to change it for those who don’t then it is all wrong.

    Lets say the council wanted to remove the restrictions altogether, it would make life hell for us in the restriction areas. Would we get the same level of support?

  3. The title of the petition is unfortunate but I have signed it because I do think the trial is sneaky and there should be consultation. I’ve already written to all the local councillors and John Howard asking a series of questions; Howard has replied to say that parking officials from the council will reply to each and every question but whether that’ll be before this Saturday when I’m hoping to drop in to the drop in session, I don’t know.

    I would definitely like to know the reasoning behind the plans, especially the paid for parking along Overton Drive, which I think has the potential to make the road congested, how long the trial will last, and by what criteria will its success or failure be measured?

    1. thanks for link.

      page 24 states ‘Gravitate towards use of experimental traffic management schemes that can be easily amended and can expand when the inevitable displacement of parked vehicles occurs.’

      so therefore it seems that LBR use of the term ‘trial’ means that they will easily expand the restrictions into other roads…i.e. creep. IT DOES NOT SEEMINGLY MEAN THAT THE RESTRICTIONS MAY BE REMOVED AFTER THE TRIAL!

  4. The inter web tells me that in 2011 the population of Redbridge was was 280,000. Probably 400 ish now.

    Reaches for calculator; 1500 people responded to the parking consultation, so that is 1500/400,000×100.

    Hmmm; Redbridge parking strategy is based on the views of 0.375% of the Borough population.

    What a pile of poo.

    1. Consultations don’t tend to be decided on a popularity contest as the response numbers tends to be extremely low and usually only those who stand to lose bother to vote (and are encouraged to do so as per the link) !whereas those that gain don’t.

      The decision will include the public being consulted along with planners and traffic management experts to make a final decision.

    2. On the leaflet it read “We’ve taken the feedback from thousands of people across the Borough” Surely 1,500 is < thousands. Definitely less than “thousands” which would have to be at least two thousand, though I suspect they are using it in the informal way to describe an unspecified large number. A bit like a trial you have to pay for. When I obtain something on trial I either don’t pay or get a refund if I don’t like it. Never have I been obliged to pay for a trial.

  5. There were session at the library today. We went along and we’re told that the parking changes in residential areas are to accommodate the displacements that will be caused by putting metered parking on the high street on the 35 spaces which will now have pay and display restrictions. The changes to the high street are to be introduced following a survey carried out by the council whereby they stood on the high street for one weekday and one Saturday and counted the duration cars spent parked.

    According to the officers at the library feedback should be provided via the email address if you have any objections or views on the proposals then send them here.

    1. I have sent them numerous emails in the last fortnight and they have not replied to any of them. I did get three replies for Cllr John Howard when I pointed out what he said in the Guardian (He was quoted as saying the permits would cost less than £1,he said he was mis-quoted and tweeted the press within minutes of my comment appearing, so obviously he reads what I write) , but he has also gone silent in recent days.

  6. No George. A democracy is a public vote for who represents you and makes decisions on your behalf. Democracy doesn’t mean putting decisions to a public vote. Never has done a never will.

      1. Sigh, for the 85th time I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be a consultation. However, a consultation does not mean asking the public and doing what they say. Nor is democracy asking the public to decide on issues.

          1. Yes. Reduction of car usage is necessary. Councils and governments have asked nicely. Even asked pretty please. Yet people still use the cars for many unnessary journeys. In London the average car journey is around 2 miles. That’s a joke. It needs to be tackled. Asking doesn’t work. So councils have little choice other than to make driving less convenient than the alternative. Driving and parking is a privilege. For the high street it is a minority. So quite rightly it shouldn’t take priority. The entitlement of drivers is ridiculous. Had decisions need to be taken which will upset some but be better for everyone in the long run.

            As stated, democracy does not mean putting decisions like this to a public vote. It is also not a popularity contest. You should be given the right to sir your opinions to put your case in case there are scenarios the council isn’t aware of. “Wah wah I demand to park for free” isn’t a strong case.

            I am for a consultation to gather opinions. But the council will also take the opinions of traffic management, planners and other vested interest groups. Those that wish to park as they choose have been able to for decades but it is slowly changing priorities. Councils have learnt asking people to change makes no difference. So forced changes to alter habits will come. There are plenty of very successful high streets in London with much stricter parking controls than are being proposed here. It is lazinesss snd entitlement which have less place in a modern busy environment than it used to.

  7. I support the parking changes, as it would be better to have frequent turnover of the limited space on the high street. It has been impossible to stop at the local shops. Free for 30mins is fine for drop/pick up. Hopefully locals will see this as encouraging active travel. I think free parking encourages car use as the bus cost is £3.

  8. Put metres In & wanstead will lose more business! What about if you want to take kids to park & live further out? What about single parents who cant afford all this? Not everyone can afford prices at wanstead let alone parking as well!! Why dont you charge us to breath too!! Its ridiculous just to Force money out of you!! Even local transport is a rip off & striking oh guess what for more money!! How greed has ruined these places that should be free like they use to be!!

  9. Its a total disgrace, if the council cant hold a respective meeting in the library with the public how can we expect them to plan correctly for the area, and as for the so called meeting it was said if the plan did not work it would be taken out at a later date which would incur more cost to the tax payer ? i thought they were supposed to be saving money, i think its time for them to look at there pension schemes and pay offs if they want to save.

    1. I understand that Cllr Sue Nolan is calling a public meeting on the Wanstead Parking proposals on Friday 13th January at 7.15 pm in the Scout Hut (Hollybush Hill).

  10. The introduction of Pay and Display meters together with extending the residents permit schemes to Saturdays is designed solely to make money for the Council – the impact on Wanstead will be that less people shop in Wanstead on a Saturday and local shops will go out of business , does the Council care about that no !

    Why will the Council not allow consultation are they scare that their plans to tax local people more will be rejected !

  11. Update – I attended the meeting on Wednesday (14th) evening after work and witnessed lots of unhappy people wanting answers but not getting any, with Officers passively ‘holding the line’ and not interested in anything other than talking AT people about the plan that is going ahead. Other neighbours who had attended meeting earlier in the day reported the same experience. I wanted to know where the Cabinet Member (Howard) was, who is responsible for these proposals so I could question him but was told he had conveniently sloped off earlier in the day which should be no surprise and just served to show the spineless way this parking scheme is being forced onto people. Cllr Howard would do well to remember he is answerable to local people and not being present for the whole session (the Council organised at their own discretion) on such a controversial issue is a disgrace and this has been noted. For the time I was there I did not meet, see, or hear one person from the community who was/is in favour of the scheme, so what is the basis for LBR trying to force this on Wanstead? Well according to one Officer there was a consultation last year on this matter and we voted for this parking scheme?! (really? I must have been in outer space when that happened. This was complete news to me and everyone else who was present hearing this for the first time). What was the consultation approach, hiding behind tress and whispering to the animals? Absolute cods wallop. Moving on, I wanted to know why the same households were being sent different versions of the leaflet and why people living next door to each other didn’t even receive all the different versions of the leaflets all amounting to a mass of confusion and demonstrating the breathtaking ineptitude LBR is becoming synonymous with? The Council Officer’s response was equally staggering nonchalantly stating he wasn’t aware of that and that it wasn’t them but the ‘Communications Team’, well that’s OK then, we can all rest easy. No, we cannot, you are an employee of LBR and work for the one/same organisation called LBR, I’m not interested in your internal departmental blame game, we pay your wages through our Council Tax, do your job and demonstrate we get value for money by owning the problem I am reporting to you and not giving us a pile of ineptitude. This was after I had to ask if he worked for the Council to identify him as a Council Officer, why wasn’t he wearing some form of clearly identifiable ID at which point he sheepishly pulled out his ID out of his pocket. This pathetic communications plan demonstrates the whole sorry saga, LBR have failed to satisfactorily engage the community. Disappointed, I wanted to know who present was in charge and was pointed to a chap called Mathew Gray. Speaking with him didn’t improve the experience any further although he did say he would be feeding back, not sure to whom he will be doing that with if people tend to slope off on issues that matter to the community. It was interesting for me and others to hear Mathew say, and I quote “This is not a consultation, we are not consulting here but giving information”, well clearly LBR cannot even do that properly from the issues of already highlighted above, nor take ownership when failings are brought to their attention. So if this is NOT a consultation, what is LBR’s justification for imposing this parking scheme on the community? According to Mr Gray, there was a traffic survey done last year which demonstrated issues. Really?! Well is this session is not a consultation, and it is an INFORMation session, why are you not presenting the data to the community to justify these proposals? “Oh, you have to write to me for that data”, well isn’t that convenient Mr Gray. You turn up to share information with the Community and only have half of the whole picture or story to share, the half which serves the LBR agenda, very convenient. I thought this was an INFORMation session, no? Well, I demand here in public that you Mr Gray/LBR make the data public so as the community we can judge the grounds/basis for introducing this draconian scheme on our community. As you admitted to me when I asked about why I had still no response to my correspondence (email) dated the 5th to the Leader, Councillors, CEO asking questions about this scheme that it is ‘probably’ on your desk awaiting reply, I think we have been waiting long enough, don’t you? You don’t even know for sure if it is or isn’t on your desk. I am not going to send another written request when you/LBR have failed to respond to my first one and consistently demonstrate ineptitude as a whole. My experience (and of others present) on Wednesday, was unsatisfactory.

    Referring to my email of the 5th Dec, eleven days on I have still had no response which even remotely begins to suggest the Council is acknowledging, recognising or responding to concerns, from any of the people I wrote to directly including all 6 ward councillors for Wanstead & Snaresbrook, Leader of the Council, CEO of the Council and our MP expressing concerns with the way the scheme is being imposed. I have a holding response from the CEO’s office telling me they will come back to me (still waiting), and a separate reply from Mr Athwal the Leader of the Council that my email has been forwarded to Mr Howard to note my comments, the same Mr Howard who was absent for large part of the information session on Wednesday. All in all, a crap performance so far from people who we have elected and are accountable to us, and they wonder why people are turning against the establishment. Between them they can’t cobble together a satisfactory response within eleven days and counting, but I bet they wouldn’t wait eleven minutes if their allowances, pay or expenses were overdue or if they were after our votes.

    In fact, the more I think about it the more I realise crap communication is becoming the norm at LBR (only God knows how they managed 3 star performance rating as a local authority in previous years as I would have struggled to give them zero back then let alone anything higher), I digress, last week we received a leaflet giving us just ONE weeks notice to say the Green Waste collections were stopping over winter… what kind of Mickey Mouse outfit is our Council Tax money paying for where they cannot even provide reasonable notice let alone consultation? Its becoming a farce. None of these people would make it past the probation period in my company.

    Yesterday (Thursday), the latest edition of ‘Wanstead Matters’ from our MP (and Labour/Wanstead Councillors) landed on my doormat, I suppose that is where I should have left it and chucked it in recycling knowing now what I do having reviewing the content. I thought, given the title it would at least refer to this half baked money spinning Parking Scheme given how much it has exercised the whole community, but no, our MP is all happy clappy to talk about swimming pools and flight paths and asking the Govt to end austerity now, well you know what Mr Cryer, if you are concerned about Austerity you can start by getting involved and holding your Labour Party Brethren at LBR to account over having introduced a so called Parking Strategy across Redbridge when no-one was looking under false pretenses to tax already hard pressed low income and JAM families in the Borough who are just about making ends meet and trying to get by, and you know what, whilst you are at it you can also query and provide us all with a proper answer as to why your Brethren at LBR dismantled an effective community engagement mechanism (aka Area Panels) which lent a proper voice to the community and was one means which allowed something close to resembling localism and democratic process, but maybe that is too much to expect from you?

    Together with my other posts on Wansteadium (on this topic) where I have referenced additional and equally important concerns such as LBR killing our High Street businesses through this so called Parking Scheme (aka milking the Wanstead Cash Cow and frightening customers away), tomorrow is the 2nd and last INFORMation (not consultation) session LBR stage for us before steam rollering in their parking scheme to save us all from ourselves and sleep walking into automobile dominion, I will certainly be attending the library to make my feelings known and demand LBR withdraw this scheme until they have acted and used their powers properly and proportionately. I understand Hainault are the only other area in Redbridge facing the same issue with LBR with a parking scheme being forced upon them, and if they are watching this story then perhaps it might be worth joining forces with them if they have the same concerns about the methodology being deployed by LBR?

    Many may think that from the tone of my posts I am against any sort of parking scheme, controls, or parking measures, I am NOT. In fact, we have a parking issue on our street where I live which needs addressing, I should be but I am not in favour of this proposed Parking Scheme measures which are clearly a consequence of not having been consulted and someone engineering ulterior motives to introduce a completely over the top parking scheme because it will earn LBR money, remember LBR have previous in this area as shown by the BBC investigation earlier this year. Where I live, it’s our street and we know what we need (not you LBR, you don’t live here, so ask us first), I am against any sort of abuse of process which infringes on the rights of the community. I am a democrat and will always respect and uphold the freedoms and rights of the majority, but this is NOT what is in play here. LBR have simply failed the community on every level to follow any kind of due process, consultation or engagement to justify their approach, as such they and all those who purport to represent LBR need to be called out and held to account! Their lack of response and/or ineptitude when they do engage (such as answers on Wednesday) makes me question their qualifications to do their jobs and clumsy ways resulting from not having a proper or majority mandate from the community to do this. If they followed due process and can fully demonstrate that they have indeed followed due process and also engaged with the community and as a consequence can justify we need this parking scheme, I would have no problem with it. Even if they want to back door in a scheme using a temporary Traffic Order, justify it to us that you have applied the criteria/grounds provided by law to do that and if the circumstances exist (they don’t btw) to support then I would have no problem. They simply haven’t done any of that and we don’t live in a dictatorship, so LBR need to remember they work for us and start again doing things properly. If we allow this sorry excuse for a Parking Scheme to go ahead it will change the character of our community forever and it will be too late (yes, I know these proposals have been packaged as temporary, believe that and pigs might be flying overhead tomorrow night). When the elections come round again I for one together with all my family, friends and neighbours will certainly be remembering the politicians and this punitive saga being imposed onto our community/businesses/streets before casting any vote.

    1. I went to the ‘information session’ today to learn more and try to understand this proposal. Unfortunately John Howard was not able to attend today either, being a Saturday so close to Christmas, I too had many other places to be but decided to attend as it is so important to Wanstead. It’s a shame he was too busy to engage with residents and interested parties at an event that the council organised at a time and place of their choice.

    2. well said.

      can you please give details on:
      ‘…remember LBR have previous in this area as shown by the BBC investigation earlier this year.’
      as not aware.

  12. Update 2 – I attended the second INFORMation session this morning and en route met others on their way back from the library, telling me it was a complete waste of time as they had received any ‘answers’ to their questions. When I got there I saw the Council Officers, Mathew Gray and his team, present but no sign again of Mr Howard or any other Councillor to answer questions, a complete disgrace and spineless. I expect Mr Howard had been briefed about the local reaction to plans from Wednesday’s session and decided to duck out on some feeble excuse.

    Having made the time to attend and speak with Mr Howard who wasn’t there, I decided to question Matthew Gray instead about the Borough wide consultation and how that had led to the Parking Strategy and what I learned is staggering. According to Mr Gray, that consultation resulted in around 3000 responses, I personally think it was not even half that based on my enquiries, either way, based on a Borough wide response of between less than 0.5% and 1%, the Council instigated and decided to impose a Parking Strategy on the whole population of Redbridge?! Someone needs to be held accountable. Questioning Mr Gray further, on who was/were the Genius behind the analysis/concluding that the LBR had the basis and mandate to proceed with the strategy, he informed me it was the Communication Team. Of course it was, that bastion of expertise on all matters Parking and Highways who can’t organise distribution of information leaflets to affected residents.

    I then decided to ask Mr Gray questions about the incomplete nature of the INFORMation sessions, another words why residents were only being given HALF the information, i.e. The half relating to the proposals of what LBR are planning to impose, and NOT the most important half which provides the justification (traffic survey data), everyone should be shocked to learn the answer Mr Gray gave me, the Councillors made the decision that information was not to be disclosed/shared with residents!!! I wonder why.

    The more you dig, the more this whole thing stinks like a sewer with the likes of Mr Howard who are accountable to us acting like they are overlords over a fiefdom using others and democratic processes to do their bidding and furthering hidden agenda’s.

    We really must question the Council and those in ‘power’, there is clear abuse of authority and process going on here and it needs to be tackled. There is a public meeting being organised by Councillor Nolan which we all should attend, and everyone must sign the petition which challenges the way the Council is going about this, and the press/media should be invited to investigate this further, this whole thing stinks. All I expect is for proper consultation and/or due process, neither of which is taking place here from what I have seen so far and Councillor Jas Athwal & the CEO need to step up and do something to address concerns showing some spine and real leadership. We are not living in a tin pot dictatorship.

    1. sue nolan is a good councillor in my experience. please provide details of the meeting.

      if there is no response to complaints i shall be writing to the local gov ombudsman re maladministration.

      i wonder if cllr. howard and co. can be held personally legally liable for his consultation rule bending?

  13. This is Centre Road Friday afternoon, the picture taken from the dirt car park. The result of a new permit parking scheme introduced in Newham. I saw at least three near misses in the 20 minutes I was there.

    1. i was wondering why suddenly loads of cars were parked on the flats (centre road), where previously none ever were. nevertheless, lbr have a cunning plan for such eventualities as my post above about ‘parking restriction creep’.

      however im sure lb newham would have done proper formal consultation as that is exactly what they are in the process of doing for a property i own in plaistow.

      1. george,
        re your comment below, it seems the ‘trial’ will not be undone (see my post above). the ‘trial’ aspect is that it can be extended to other roads if there is parking creep!

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