Labour forced to rethink on CPZ charging plans

Haringey Council’s top ‘Watchdog’ Committee has asked the Labour-controlled Council to reconsider its consultation plans for new parking charges. The move by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday 13th February 2007 was the result of a Lib Dem instigated ‘call-in’ of the Council’s plans, and saw Labour members of the committee disagree publicly on the issue.

The move followed protests from the Lib Dems and some Labour members that Haringey Council had opted for only the bare minimum of consultation for this significant overhaul in Control Parking Zone (CPZ) charging.Moreover, it was revealed last night that the Council had intended to do no more than put a few notices on lampposts and place legal notices in local papers.

In a further development, Councillor Brian Haley, lead member of environmental services, and no stranger to CPZ controversy, revealed that the whole scheme had been brought forward by Labour against his own wishes, and would offer no explanation for this. The news confirms Lib Dem suspicions that the scheme has been designed to plug a short-term whole in Labour’s budget rather than to secure the best possible benefit for the environment.

Councillor Martin Newton, Haringey Lib Dem spokesperson for transport, put forward positive Lib Dem proposals for a revenue neutral scheme, with more consultation, and a better banding structure that would encourage more residents to switch to lower emission vehicles.

Cllr Martin Newton comments:

“We are fully behind using taxation to change people’s behaviour to prevent climate change – and the pressure is now on Labour to allow more time to come up with a better scheme. We need to take people along with us in the process of introducing this scheme.”