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Screenshot of the Council's website announcement about the parking consultation
Screenshot of the Council's website announcement about the parking consultation

Labour stops stalling on parking confusion

THE LABOUR Group of Councillors have broken their silence on the parking consultation in Bow and Mile End currently being conducted by Tower Hamlets Council.

Earlier last week the Council indicated that it was consulting all residents and some businesses in Parking Zones B1, B2 and B4 on whether controlled hours should be extended. The Council claimed it was prompted to carry out the consultation because it had received complaints from some residents about how difficult it is to park in the evenings and at weekends,

Labour Councillors have no executive power over parking, which is one of the Council’s functions delegated to the Executive Mayor. However, it is understood that the Labour Mayor does attend meetings with Labour Councillors so he will doubtless hear their views.

The Labour Group statement says:

“Parking consultation statement
“Tower Hamlets Council officers recently sent out an informal survey to some residents in the B1, B2 and B4 parking zones asking for their views about how the current parking system works. This was in response to a number of residents raising concerns about the parking in their local area.
“Despite the opposition member claims, there is a clear option for residents to support the current arrangements and asking if they are satisfied with the current arrangements.”

The Labour Councillors are in agreement with the council over which Controlled Parking Zones are involved in the consultation. The Councillors also agree on what prompted the Council to start the consultation: they say it was in response to a number of residents raising concerns – which is just what the official Council announcement says (see picture above). So far, so completely in agreement are the Labour Group and the Council.

The second part of the announcement on the Council website refers to this massive postal exercise being an "informal" consultation.

The second part of the announcement on the Council website refers to this massive postal exercise being an “informal” consultation.

However, the Labour Group’s statement talks about the current consultation being an informal consultation – and, indeed, the Council website does give closing dates for the “informal consultation timeline” (see picture above). What the Council says, but Labour does not repeat, is that it plans to post out a consultation pack to every property address in the three parking zones involved (see picture at the top of this article). If that’s the standard of an “informal” consultation, the formal consultation will presumably be hand-delivered to each resident on a silver salver.

(What’s that you say? That informal consultation on parking hours is much more thorough than the consultation on Children’s Centres, Council nurseries, Youth Clubs or Youth Sports? You may say that. We could not possibly comment.)

Part of the consultation questionnaire - which seems to ask for feedback on three options for change but not the status quo.

Part of the consultation questionnaire – which seems to ask for feedback on three options for change but not the status quo.

In the second part of their statement, the Labour Group denies Opposition Councillors’ claims that there is no option for the public to back the current system and tell the Council they don’t want any changes. The Council has not released a copy of its consultation questionnaires, so it is not possible to adjudicate on this heated disagreement. However, one question used by the Independent (Opposition) councillors have released a picture of one question on the survey which certainly seems to be asking residents to comment on three definite proposals for the future – which do not include the option of retaining the status quo.

•Read more about it:
Cllr Ohid Ahmed calls on Biggs for clarity on parking
Cllr Ohid Ahmed calls on Biggs to “come clean” on parking

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