MP condemns council's 'lack of engagement' over CPZ issues

Dagenham and Rainham MP calls for solution to CPZ issues in Barking and Dagenham

MP Jon Cruddas has urged the CEO of Barking and Dagenham Council to work with him on finding a solution to the CPZ issues in the borough - Credit: Pawel Szewczyk

MP Jon Cruddas has urged Barking and Dagenham Council to work with him to find a solution to the parking issues currently besieging the borough.

In a recent letter written to the council's chief executive Chris Naylor, Mr Cruddas argued that the situation with CPZs has been "needlessly strung out to the detriment of local people".

CPZs - controlled parking zones - are areas where on-street parking is restricted during specified times, with residents living in such areas required to purchase a permit to park.

Such zones have become increasingly prevalent in Barking and Dagenham in recent years, with eight schemes alone given the green light after a consultation last year.

The introduction of CPZs have long since courted controversy, so much so that Mr Cruddas sought residents' views through a consultation earlier this year.

The strength of feeling seen from that engagement exercise - which saw "over 2,000 responses across multiple wards" - prompted the MP to call a recent meeting with Mr Naylor.

During this meeting he outlined nine key asks, including a "meaningful" six-month review of rolled out schemes, alongside a commitment to scrap those where the review is unfavourable.

Further demands include a commitment to including a hard copy survey as part of future consultations and "special dispensations" for carers and health visitors.

In addition, the MP believes charges for new dropped kerbs should not be taken from residents.

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Describing that recent meeting as "productive", Mr Cruddas is dismayed by the lack of response since.

"This complete lack of engagement and accountability is incredibly concerning behaviour from the local authority given the sheer scale of upheaval caused by the Controlled Parking Zone policy," the MP said.

In response, a council spokesperson sought to clarify a number of issues:

CPZ review

"We can now confirm that we are starting to undertake the first review into a CPZ."

Drop kerb policy

"The dropped kerb policy is also being reviewed and will be implemented shortly, with a view to offering more flexibility and clarity on when and how residents may apply for a dropped kerb."

Special dispensation

"There will now be a community/healthcare permit which offers annual, daily, or four-hourly parking periods. It will roll out in the new year.”

The latest CPZs - applying to streets in Village ward and to Richard Moore Court Car Park - will go live at 8.30am on Monday (December 13).