Lib Dem doubts over Labour's new parking proposals

Liberal Democrats have raised doubts over the Labour Council’s new proposals for parking charges in Haringey. Labour has proposed a new scheme mimicking Lib Dem plans in Richmond that will tie charges to CO2 emissions.

Lib Dem leader of the opposition Neil Williams commented:

“While we support environmental taxes in principle, and welcome the proposals made by Liberal Democrat run Richmond Council,it has yet to be seen whether Haringey can come up with a workable scheme, and not just engage in a knee-jerk reaction to raise cash without coming up with a workable policy or consulting local people properly.

“Rather like Stop-and-Shop, Haringey propose to go straight to statutory consultation.Haringey Council has just “consulted” with residents in Fortis Green, Bounds Green, Stroud Green and Hornsey over introduction of CPZs – and the Council gave cost for residents permit as £25 for 12 months. Is it any wonder that residents are utterly cynical about the way Haringey consults?

“Also, it remains to be seen whether this policy will work as effectively in Haringey as compared with other boroughs. Camden is pretty much one giant CPZ, and Haringey is not. The Labour lead member was completely unable to say last night what proportion of residents would end up paying this tax.

We would love to support a fair and workable scheme, but let’s see the Council demonstrate that it has come up with one – they certainly have not done so far.”

Cllr Martin Newton, Lib Dem spokesperson for Transport, Highways and Streetscene, added:

“What is being proposed is just “gesture politics” owing more to a need to fill holes in the Labour budget plan rather than doing anything significant to reduce CO2 emissions. The Labour Council must also ring-fence any extra revenue raised as a result of this review for environmental projects.”

Cllr Serge Lourie, Leader of Richmond Council, says:

“Richmond upon Thames Council has had an extremely wide non-statutory consultation and local residents voted by 48% to 39% in favour in astatistically valid survey of 3,500 local residents. Richmond Council listened to residents and made some substantial changesto the original scheme, which has always been revenue neutral”.