Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) up-date

The originally proposed 24/7 extension of the parking restrictions has been revised – a compromise is now being offered (see extract of an email from Cllr Jane Edbrooke below). In addition apparently the trial will not be introduced this April, but in April 2016 (see )

But is this going to be effective and fair in addressing the fall-out from the night-time economy in our area?

Please also see further below a personal response to the Oval Labour Team’s proposal from a Vauxhall Grove resident.Extract from Cllr Edbrooke’s email, 13 March:

“We have listened to residents stories, and also their concerns around how the changes could impact residents having guests in the evenings and the impact on businesses in the area.

As such we want to suggest a compromise of;

  •  00.00 midnight to 8.30am (when the existing CPZ kicks in) – 7 days a week.

For the following streets;

  •  Vauxhall Grove
  • Bonnington Square
  • Langley Lane
  • Lawn Lane

We feel this would have minimal impact on businesses and residents having guests over.  But would prevent people parking up as they go to the clubs and bars.

Any residents who would like to be kept informed on the above should email Parking Customer Experience at .”

Reply to Cllr Edbrooke from a Vauxhall Grove resident:

“Dear Jane,

Thank you for your reply to my e-mail concerning the Controlled Parking Zone in Vauxhall.

It is good that you have taken a step back and rather than go for a 24 hour seven days a week approach you now intend to extend the CPZ between midnight and 8.30am seven days a week.

I simply want to point out that the announcement by you and other Oval Ward Councillors was not the best or proper way to engage with residents in the Vauxhall area and to have one local resident say that ‘WE will be implementing the scheme’ at a recent Safer Neighbourhood Panel was extremely unsettling.

It is clear that you did not engage widely enough and the many negative responses to your Labour Party promotional leaflet support this view. It was a shock to many and it has raised concerns about how you have gone about engaging with your constituents.

It is not enough to concentrate your attention on a limited view presented by a local person/s who may have his/their own agenda and who may use information to their best advantage rather than to take a clearer view that accepts a wider perspective.

I am directly affected by the anti-social behaviour that goes on very week and which peaks during the summer months in the area mostly in my opinion caused by Club Fire, but I am also aware that a lot of residents  are not affected. These residents who live mostly in Bonnington Square are decried at meetings when they express this and treated as if they are not entitled to have a differing experience of living in Vauxhall.

I am aware that there are people in the area who seem to want to talk down Vauxhall and say it is a ‘war zone’ and at one public meeting regarding  the night-time economy an attendee said that it was easier to buy drugs in Vauxhall than bread, which is of course totally absurd.

My issue with your response and the plans to create an extended CPZ is that it cannot be seen as a panacea for solving the problems we experience as residents.

I am of course aware that the idea is to stop people parking and then going onto the clubs etc. and no doubt this could be helpful, but it will not be effective in regard to the following, which can only be resolved by good simple policing:-

  •       People parking on accessible private land especially in Vauxhall Grove and using this as a base to sell such items as ‘whippets’ and balloons and to draw clubbers to them by playing loud music.
  •       People parking on accessible private land and who party for their own enjoyment
  •      People who have no intention of going to a club but are drawn to the area and who party in the street (I have seen it!). These people may simply move on if confronted by parking enforcement, but by then they will have disturbed the peace.
  •      The practice of taxi drivers parking in Vauxhall Grove etc. and walking their fares to their vehicles. This means the banging of car doors, people having a last pee in the street before getting in the cab and general loud shouting and talking by passengers and drivers alike. These taxis will be able to dodge the restriction because they will simply not be there long enough to get a ticket.
  •      Not all club goers will have travelled by car and will transit through local streets on foot often in large noisy groups.

The list goes on and I will refrain from adding more, but I hope you get the point.

Other matters that could make the plan ineffective is the intention of Secretary of State Eric Pickle’s to forbid councils from using CCTV cars to convict parking offences and the need to allow all drivers a 20 minute respite. This would undermine the plan to its core and £30,000 would have been wasted!

Also into the mix is that the tube will be running a 24 hour service by then which should reduce car use you would think? In addition will the cost of parking remain the same for present permit holders, visitor permits and the like?

To help me better understand; I assume that when you say on your online newsletter ‘by April next year’ you mean April 2016? This contradicts a statement in the promotional leaflet distributed in February which suggests that the trial CPZ extension will be introduced before “April this year”.

I have been forced many, many times to confront anti-social behaviour in Vauxhall Grove and I have been threatened on a number of occasions when doing so.  I do not need to read out other people’s stories as I have enough of my own and I feel that increasing the CPZ hours will not be able to deal with the real issue here, and that is the anti-social behaviour generated by the night time economy affecting the area as a whole including the bus, tube and rail stations.

It is a shame that you didn’t frame the possible extension of the CPZ within a number of steps being taken. Presently the extension of the CPZ and your actions are being seen as cynical by many people, which is a shame as a proper consultation may have been to your credit and my and other residents’ benefit.

As it is, many people who have suffered badly now have to take on an extra financial burden whilst others, some vocal for the extension of the CPZ will not be affected as they have their own off street parking. This means that those residents who do not suffer and those who do will have to pay extra for example when they have guests or family members visiting at the weekends etc. This highlights the extremely limited consultation that has been undertaken and the lack of discovery of potentially negative or punitive effects the extended CPZ might have on residents.

The police tell me that they have played no part in the plan to extend the CPZ and this plus a lack of official notice or word from Lambeth Council or the Lambeth website speaks volumes – that this seems more like a publicity stunt for the Oval Ward Labour party and not a well thought out strategy of how to resolve the issues in Vauxhall. I say this with a heavy heart being a Labour voter.

I think the compromise you suggest is the best you can probably do to save face, but the extension of the CPZ is a very blunt tool that will not rid us of noisy and aggressive nights in the area.

I suggest you rethink, make an apology for announcing it in a triumphalist manner in a political leaflet and that you begin to engage in a proper manner and not just with a chosen few.


John M.

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