I see Councillor David White is taking up cudgels regarding residents parking schemes. Strange that a superb local campaigner against residents parking schemes (no longer with us, sadly) banged his head against the brick wall of Councillor White over his portfolio introduction of… ??? You guessed it; residents parking schemes.

Email to Executive Councillor responsible – David White

“Dear David

I am concerned that the legislated requirements of the Permit Parking Scheme are not being correctly adhered to.
The Booklet on the New PPS states on page 3 “You are required to collect SIGNATURES of 51% or more of all the households on your street in support of the scheme, even if only a section of the street is affected by non-resident parking. The petition can then be presented to your Cllr or submitted to the Council… Only then can your local Area Committee authorise a survey to be carried out”

Page 7 gives an example of a petition; “We the UNDERSIGNED being residents of (name road or street) having read the new permit parking policy relating to the annual cost of permits, support the request ….”

That seems crystal clear that a PETITION is needed that contains the SIGNATURES of 51% or more of households in a whole street even for a part street for a scheme to be legally approved by Area Committee.

In fact I have before me the redacted petitions from streets such as Beech Av, Maxwell Av, Abergele St, Wembley Close and they closely follow the above requirements. I believe you were personally involved with some or all of the above so you would be aware of that.

However the approval process for Cromwell Rd does not follow this stated framework.

I have before me a Consultation Letter sent to Cromwell Rd residents on the 24th July 2007 by Traffic Services at the request of Cllr Bagnell. On the 20th August 2007 you received a letter, of which I have a copy, from one of the residents, presumably living in one of those 6 houses which eventually became the PPS, stating that his “survey of neighbours” had produced ” a response (that) was extremely favourable” I presume that meant more than 51% of the whole street agreed to the 6 house scheme proposed in the letter and agreed to by you. I say agreed by you because you sent the letter to Traffic Services which was received by them on the 30th August. I am intrigued as to why, at this particular moment, you took over this relatively minor request which had been initiated by Cllr Bagnall.

The key fact that must be emphasised here is that the letter of 20th August contained the signature of ONLY the sender; none of the other residents had signed. In my view at this moment that letter could not be described as Petition as defined in the Policy and in the Booklet quoted above and you would know that point and that it was totally dissimilar to all the other Petitions you had handled for the above quoted streets.

Slightly diverging I have absolutely no problem that these houses should have been given the protection of an RPS. In fact they should have been given that protection in 2002 when they first asked for a scheme, ironically with a signed petition of which I have a copy and the related correspondence.

I asked Traffic Services why there was no signed Petition. Their written answer to me states ” The redacted letter you have previously received has been accepted as a petition and is the only petition submitted to Traffic Services from residents of Cromwell Road in relation to permit parking.”

I can’t believe anyone in possession of the full facts would find that acceptable.
I don’t see how a Council Policy is carefully drafted with specific safeguards to maintain democratic integrity is casually put aside in one instance when someone judges the means might justify the end. It doesn’t matter that a satisfactory result has been achieved; someone has broken the legally stated rules and especially in a 4 Star Plus Council this cannot be tolerated.
I would expect you as an elected Cllr to agree with those sentiments I have just expressed and therefore would ask

1 Who was it that agreed to ignore the rules.?

2 Had this acceptance of the unsigned letter as a properly signed petition previously been brought to your attention?

3 Are there any more streets where this error might have occurred?

4 Whilst the end result is good what are you going to do to make sure this does not happen again?

5 As I say the end result is good but residents have paid for protection when they should not have been asked for money. Should they have an apology and a refund?

I would like to say this is the only legal problem with the Scheme but unfortunately it isn’t. I think we should clear this mess up before we go onto the next errors.

Kind Regards