Highgate CPZ

Last night was the Highgate CPZ (controlled parking zone) call-in by the Lib Dem councillors in Haringey.

The Labour executive had conducted a consultation on their proposed Highgate CPZ which got an 82% no response. But the Labour Exec decided that there were about 5 roads where the vote was close and decided to proceed with a statutory consultation on putting the CPZ in just those roads. Given the controversies over the consultation, the Lib Dems called in Labour’s decision for examination by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

There were some excellent speeches from deputations both for and against the CPZ and Cllr Neil Williams and Cllr Bob Hare (Lib Dem Highgate councillors) both spoke in a measured and balanced way about the deficiencies of Haringey Council in its process and its flawed reports.

As the Labour lead member, Cllr Ray Dodds insisted that in these 5 roads there was a ‘blurring’ and the result was something like 53% against and 47% for (although different accounts said differently). One of the deputations pointed out that if Labour had won an election by 53% to 47%, they wouldn’t be calling that a ‘blurred’ result – but a clear victory.

What was clear was that Labour were in a mess having proposed something, got an answer they didn’t like, and tried to railroad residents into a half-baked version of a mini-CPZ. Now CPZs can be good or CPZs can be bad – it really depends on the accurate analysis of the parking stress, the specific nature of the roads involved, the design of the scheme and so on.

Sadly, Haringey Labour’s track record on consultation and fine design is not good (understatement). And of course the real problem is nothing gets resolved properly.

Anyway – the upshot was that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee voted by a good majority to refer the decision back to the Executive, who now have 5 days to consider their next move. There certainly was a feeling that the new proposal was half-baked and that they should go back to the drawing board. We wait with baited breath …