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Ealing and Northfield

CPZ rubbish

There is much room for improvement in the parking/parking enforcement area in Ealing and I am certain that my biggest task over the next year or so is to show some progress here. I am not responsible for the implementation of CPZs. I am responsible for the people that do enforcement (Parking Services) once a CPZ has been implemented.

It does not help the council to improve its services if the papers print parking stories which are just utter rubbish, which I am afraid they often do. Yesterday’s in Ealing Times is a case in point and reporter Alex Hayes should be ashamed of himself. He widely quotes an individual called Tim Ponting who lives in Princes Road and has clearly got a bad case of sour grapes:

We had a consultation almost a year ago, and people voted overwhelmingly to reject the zone, but now the council has decided to go ahead with it without telling us.

I guess Ponting didn’t notice the public notices that have been littering the area for weeks. I live in the area and got a letter informing me when the scheme was due to start.

Ponting claims that not many permits have been issued but I am told by officers that they have issued 400.

There was indeed a majority against the scheme across the whole area consulted but the core area which gave rise to the consultation in the first place voted in favour. In fact the council received a petition in favour of a CPZ from residents of Princes Road and Princes Road was 11 to 7 in favour of the scheme. The minimum possible scheme was discussed and voted on at Ealing Area Committee, see minutes here. The consultation results are here.

The Ealing Times story notes that Ponting is by profession a PR. Maybe journalist Alex Hayes should know better than just to swallow a PR’s line wholesale.

Update: On my way to the shops this afternoon I made a detour down Princes Road. 9 cars parked in the road. 5 with permits, one with a voucher, one with a dispensation (displayed wrongly as it happens) and two without anything. On my way home I talked to a parking attendant who was giving out warning notices to anyone parked in the zone without the right permit, dispensation, voucher, etc.

5 replies on “CPZ rubbish”

Another CPZ? Quelle surprise. Looks like Ealing Council is nothing other than a parking department and publicity office to self-promote with their Pravda style mag these days.

Unfortunately having a CPZ doesn’t solve any problems it just moves the problem elsewhere and dumps it on someone else. Hence what we end up with is “CPZ Creep”. I wanted to go to the Post Office opposite Daniel’s and there were plenty of parking spaces in Churchfield Road and Lavington Road but because they were inside the CPZ I had to park the other side of Northfield Avenue.

I find it sad that in order to park somewhere you now need a permit or a voucher or a dispensation. It’s not the sort of Brave New World I welcome but it seems to provide jobs for Parking Attendants and something for Council Members to sound off about.

What concerns me more is the unintended consequences to people who are housebound and depend on receiving weekly supplies from the Mattock Lane Pharmacy. They provide an essential free delivery service but now have to pay £250 for each permit for their delivery staff. You would think the Council would have made them exempt from any charges but it seems that was too much to expect. If that essential service is disrupted as a result then we know who is responsible.

If Phil really wants to make a difference then perhaps he should direct his undoubted energy to making sure the service provided free by the Mattock Lane Pharmacy is not affected.

Peter,

I am not a great fan of CPZs and in fact I responded to the original consultation with a no vote. Since then the parking around here has got much worse – and a small baby arrived making the distances seem much larger! By the time the scheme was implemented it was a terrific relief for me personally.

The attitude to the Tory councillors is that CPZs are a necessary evil, we will only agree to them where there is a majority in favour and we will make them as limited as possible. The Ealing Dean CPZ is only two hours weekdays so it won’t take people like you long to work out how you can park here unmolested.

If people want to support the Mattock Lane Pharmacy they need to go and buy stuff there. This council has frozen this charge for four years so it is not exactly taking the mickey. For comparison business permits cost £715 in Hammersmith. It is not clear to me why any business should be a special case.

Whilst sharing much of Peter`s sentiment and disliking the march of the CPZ`s I feel the council has listened to the differing problems and worries throughout Walpole ward and has taken a much enlightened position with the two hours weekdays rather than the draconian hours introduced by previous councils in earlier CPZ`s. I think Kingsdown Residents Association with their CPZ paper and Cllr Ann Chapman deserve credit for working towards this improved position.

Phil says “It is not clear to me why any business should be a special case” and I too usually adopt a free market position. However when a business operates on the margin with very small overall profit it doesn’t take very much to tip it in to insolvency. Sometimes that is the way life goes and maybe that business doesn’t deserve to survive but there are a few exceptions when a businesses provides an essential service to the community. If that business goes under, then there are wider ramifications and the whole community suffers.

I would argue that a Pharmacy which provides a free delivery service of essential drugs and medical supplies to the elderly and housebound falls in to that category. Running a van with driver is not cheap these days and the costs will come off the bottom line profit. I think they should be given every assistance to keep that service going.

Take another example – our Post Offices. We are facing unprecedented Post Office closures across London and there have been marches and demonstrations against those closures. Very often when a Post Office closes the whole parade of shops where it is located suffers along with the wider community. Why are they closing?? Because the Government has taken away so much of its business from the Post Office that the Post Office as a whole has much less business to transact and can no longer support having so many Branch Offices.

If you adopt Phil’s position, then Post Offices should be allowed to close until the whole business becomes small enough to become viable again. I feel that Post Offices have a wider function of serving the community and should if necessary be subsidised. Some Local Councils have put forward proposals to do just that.

If the Government would give back to the Post Office some of the business it has taken away the problem would not exist. Which brings us back to the original subject and another of Phil’s points. It would certainly help the Mattock Lane Pharmacy if more people supported it by going there and buying stuff.

Here endeth today’s lecture!

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