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10 May 2017
Labour doesn't listen to residents as flawed 20mph zone forced on Croydon

Yet again Croydon Labour hasn’t listened, ignored local residents’ views, spending millions of pounds of tax payer money on a pet project that just won't work.

As was widely expected, last night Croydon's Labour Council ploughed ahead with implementing the last three zones of their 20 MPH scheme, leaving the borough a go slow area - not good for the environment, business or commuters.

Croydon Council has gone ahead with this scheme even though it received over 2,000 people’s objections, with over 3,300 reasons given by the respondents as to why the proposals were unacceptable. Or at least these are the ones the council is considering, as it has deemed some residents' comments unworthy of consideration. The Council is refusing to provide the exact number of objectors as the official documentation only provides an approximate number. This really isn’t good enough for something so fundamental to the borough.

In Zone 1, 1600 households said they wanted the scheme as opposed to 1491 who did not, and it was implemented.

In Zone 2, 1218 said yes and 1076 said no, so it went ahead.

For the remaining three zones the Council changed the way they ‘consulted’ residents and didn’t allow a yes/no vote but only held a statutory consultation. This means that if you object you can’t just say “I object” but have to give reasons. How is it fair to treat some parts of the borough different to others? How is that democratic? How is that just?

You might therefore have thought that the Traffic Management Advisory Committee would have taken the same approach to decision-making and go with the majority of views. But no, the Labour members went with their political dogma and voted to ignore the majorty of residents in the remaining zones who overwhelmingly objected to the policy. The two Conservative councillors, who are in the minority on the committee, voted to accept the residents’ majority view and opposed the implementation.

This is a sad day for democracy, and shows Labour do not care about the views of residents - wanting to push ahead with a sham consultation for the illusion of propriety and ignore what consulted residents want. Labour had to follow a statutory process and clearly never had any intention of considering anything other than what it wanted. This epitomises this administration as one who says ‘we want your views, we will listen to what you have to say’ and then completely ignores our residents.

Cllr Sara Bashford will ask the Scrutiny and Overview Committee to examine and reconsider the decision, requesting it acts on what residents have said and support the principles of openness and transparency that the Council continues to trample on.

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