THE VERBAL JOUSTING between Tower Hamlets councillors has hotted up as the Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Amina Ali, has joined in the debate over the current parking consultation.
The Council is currently conducting a consultation over parking in zones B1, B2 and B4 (the Bow and Mile End areas) – asking residents if they believe the hours should be extended until later in the evening and over the weekend. The Council website says it has been moved to conduct the consultation because residents have raised concerns over problems they have been having with the parking system.
Cllr Ali has issued a somewhat sniffy statement – which goes a long way towards making matters a great deal more perplexing. She begins by accusing the opposition councillors of lying – which is fairly strong, even for Tower Hamlets – and ends by calling on them to stop what she refers to as “desperate scare mongering”.
She goes on to highlight the fact that the consultation in Fish Island (B4) was agreed by Cabinet last November – bringing into the debate the question of why has the Council waited so long? For a Cabinet decision to take nine months to implement is a bit of a shocker.
The consultation in B1 and B2 has been arranged more quickly. Cllr Ali insists that this costly exercise is only an informal survey. Again, questions do have to be asked over why the Council is conducting such an extensive consultation if this is just an informal gathering of views – on a different scale from past consultations on changes to services. The consultation will have to be repeated if the Council decides to go ahead with any changes, which does seem a strange use of money in these difficult times.
Finally, Cllr Ali says that the Mayor will not suggest extending controlled parking hours unless there is a clear need and a thorough consultation has been carried out and asks for it. Members of the public will be interested in this about-turn on consultation processes by the Mayor. There have been complaints in the past about the lack of consultation on Children’s Centres, nurseries and various youth services. If what is being done on parking is the new standard, it will be very welcome – if costly.
Cllr Amina Ali, full statement on parking
“This is pretty misleading stuff from opposition councillors who seem to be intentionally misrepresenting an informal parking survey.
“In November last year Cabinet agreed to launch a consultation on parking in the B4 area around Fish Island as residents had raised issues with football fans and visitors to the Olympic Park and Westfield parking in the area. This consultation is ongoing and residents views will be taken into account before a final decision is made.
“Earlier in the year it was also agreed that residents in the B1 and B2 areas be asked for their views on parking following residents raising concerns. To be clear, this is an informal survey seeking resident views including a very clear option for no changes to the current scheme.
“The Mayor has made clear that he would not support extending the parking permit hours unless there is a clear need, which there isn’t at present expect possibly in Fish Island, and following a thorough consultation. The opposition need to stop their desperate scare mongering and apologise for misleading residents.”