Zone J Parking campaign

How the new parking scheme was imposed on us against the wishes of the majority

The 4 options offered in the November 2015 Zone J Consultation were in summary:

  1. No Change
  2. Separate Bays, so called. This was not the ‘Permit Holder Only – Shared Bay’ scheme which had been requested, but the completely different ‘Permit Holder Only – Pay and Display Only’ scheme.
  3. Blanket controls, so called, which was simply changing the controlled hours from 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday - to 9.00am to 9.00pm from Monday to Sunday, i.e. seven days a week throughout Zone J
  4. Split Zones, so called, leaving streets in Zone J south of Thornfield Road unchanged, but changing the controlled hours in streets north of Thornfield Road as in 3. above seven days a week.

The consultation document sent to us all promised

"Any changes to the current controls will only be implemented with the support of the majority of respondents"

The results of the November 2015 Zone J Consultation were in summary:

Number of streets with overall majority in favour of:

No Change 13
Separate Bays 1 Arminger Rd
Blanket controls 1 Coverdale Road
Split Zones 2 Bloemfontein Rd & Goldhawk Rd

Additionally there were Petitions in favour of 1. No Change from St Nicholas Church and the Mosque which almost 800 people had signed.

Zone J

These results were clearly an upset for the new Labour Council.

Remember in May 2015 - before the consultation – Cllr Wesley Harcourt, the new Labour cabinet member for parking, had written to everybody announcing the imposition of Blanket Controls in Zone J. He only cancelled this plan, announcing the November 2015 consultation instead, because so many people protested.

The results of the November 2015 Zone J Consultation were not what he wanted, as only a small minority had supported what he had been planning to do. Things then went very quiet while, no doubt, he tried to think of a way out of his difficulties and how to impose blanket controls as he originally planned, wherever he could.

Eventually, six months later, in May 2016, Cllr Harcourt wrote to us again.

In this May 2016 letter, instead of disclosing the results of the November 2015 Consultation as he should have done, Cllr Harcourt and his Council advisor, Edward Stubbing, appear to have decided the way out of their difficulties was quite simply to misrepresent the results of the Consultation saying:

"The results were extremely close and none of the four options we offered received a majority level of support"

which was of course completely untrue.

Cllr Harcourt’s May 2016 letter then went on to announce that he was going to impose blanket controls on streets shown in a plan attached to his letter. It was the same plan that had been used to show the streets in which, under Option 4. Split Zones in the November 2015 consultation, blanket control hours would have been imposed, except that it now excluded some streets which had voted overwhelmingly in favour of ‘no change’.

Clearly Cllr Harcourt was not content with this.

In November 2016, having in the interval sent out letters dated July 2016 to some streets without telling others what he was doing, we received another letter from him saying that with effect from December 8th he was imposing blanket controls on not only the streets specified in his May 2016 letter but also on Hetley Road and the northern ends of Godolphin Road and St. Stephens Avenue as well.

So you will see that what he has done (with the exception only of Loftus Rd, Ellerslie Rd, Blomfontein Avenue and Blomfontein Rd ) is to impose Option 4 Split Zones, totally disregarding

  1. the results of the Consultation, which he misrepresented to you and kept from you
  2. the fact that Option 4 Split Zones received only 8.41% support
which is obviously against the wishes of the majority, who in the absence of any better alternative on offer had voted by a majority of 58% for option 1 No Change.

Zone JJ plan [PDF]