The parking policy that no one wants

Many of your readers have shown themselves to have serious concerns about Islington Council’s changes to parking policy in Islington, and in particular the new Residents’ Roamer – but underlying this is a bigger issue about the future of democracy in Islington.

The changes in policy will have a significant impact on everyone living in, or visiting the borough, yet Islington Council, at October’s meeting of the executive, agreed these changes without any public consultation whatsoever.

It was then obliged to carry out a statutory consultation, including a mail-out to all 27,300 permit holders, on details of how the scheme would operate, at a cost of very nearly �10,000.

The unpopularity of the proposals can be gauged from the fact that out of 313 responses, only eight were in support of the scheme.Now, having changed the hours of operation at this month’s executive, it is obliged to go through the whole costly process again!

Not a penny has been spent on directly seeking out the views of the majority of Islington’s residents, who don’t own a car.

Is this a proportionate way for the council to be spending its money at a time of unprecedented financial crisis?

Had the council sought the views of all residents from the outset, not only would it have been in a position to evaluate the level of support for the scheme, but also many of its detailed flaws could have been identified.

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Instead, by eliminating all consultation that is not statutory, in this matter and others, the council is in danger of hollowing out the democratic process in Islington. It can’t avoid the cuts, but it can avoid adding a democratic deficit to the financial one. – Nick Jack, Axminster Road, N7.