P&D-Day looms for Wanstead

Following their resounding victory earlier this week, opponents of plans to introduce new parking restrictions in and around central Wanstead might feel their work is done.

The “Area 1” committee on Monday decided to recommend that the plans to introduce pay and display on Wanstead High Street and paid permits for residents in central Wanstead and Snaresbrook should not go ahead (report here from the Wanstead Guardian). But that is not necessarily an end to the matter.

First off there is a debate to be held on Thursday night at the full council meeting, following the presentation of the petitions organised against both plans. This debate is triggered by the presentation of any petition with more than 1,500 signatures, but of course doesn’t in itself mean that the petitioners have their way.

The decision on both plans is one which will be made by the council’s cabinet, rather than the full council, as it is an executive decision. This meeting will not be held until 6 September, and it is to this meeting that the Area 1 committee recommendation will be presented.

The council papers, available here, include some of the reasons why the proposals were made. Particularly clear are the comments from the director of finances and resources, who writes:

The proposal to introduce pay and display parking restrictions in Wanstead High Street arises from the decision of Cabinet at its out a Parking Strategy Review. The context for this review was the financial environment facing the public sector in which all service areas within the Council needed to identify opportunities to make savings or generate additional income… Subsequently, one of the budget proposals approved by Council at its meeting on 3rd March 2011 was the generation of new income in respect of the expansion of charging for parking across the Borough. This proposal was to be effective from 2012/13 and amounted to £500,000 in that year and £1,250,000 in a full year and therefore is a significant element in the Authority’s overall budget.

Nevertheless, Valerie and Michael Powis, organisers of the Oppose Parking campaign, told Wansteadium: “We take our petitions to Full Council Debate on 21st July at 7.15 pm at Ilford Town Hall. Any supporters who oppose the parking plans would be welcome in the public gallery.”