Deputation to Southwark Council on the Proposed CPZ

The Chair of the Dulwich Village Residents’ Association, Bridget Furst, presented the following deputation to the Southwark Council Cabinet meeting this morning (17th January 2024) – supported by Mike Burt, Terry South and Richard Cail.

The excellent news is that Southwark agreed to extend the consultation period by one week – it now ends on Sunday 28th January. Residents are encouraged to make their views known on the proposed CPZ in Dulwich Village by completing the survey on the following link:

https://consultations.southwark.gov.uk/environment-leisure/option2-dulwichvillage-stage2-cpz/


Good morning Councillor Williams and members of the Cabinet. I am speaking as a resident.

We wish to draw attention to the chaotic way Southwark council has approached the public consultation for the CPZ plans in Dulwich, and we ask for a reasonable extension to this consultation so that residents are able to take part in this democratic process. A lot of questions have been raised by those who will potentially be affected and there must be time for Southwark to respond so we can all make a reasoned decision about whether Dulwich Village needs a CPZ.

-Firstly, this is an important consultation which was launched just before the Christmas holidays with children off school and everyone busy, so there has been little time to recognise the importance of the consultation.

-Secondly, a haphazard – the only word to describe it, scattered hand delivered booklets to some but not all houses in every road. I didn’t receive one and only managed to take a look at the booklet yesterday when a friend lent me hers. Many residents are not registered with the council to be emailed about new consultations.

An unscientific survey carried out on my road showed some received the leaflet but not others. I am very concerned that because of the busy season and knowing many did not receive even notification of a consultation at all, that a significant number of local residents have not had the chance to participate.

Many are very concerned this scheme will be introduced regardless of the findings and I’ve been told that an official from Southwark said the CPZ would be pushed through regardless of the result. Informal surveys have been conducted on some included roads by their own residents, where in some cases, 100% of homes are against a CPZ. Another example I can give is of two roads where more residents are for a CPZ, but this is because of parking pressure caused by pupils and staff from local independent schools – they have no issues during the school holidays. The reason I use this example is that the schools are well aware of this issue – residents have repeatedly asked for the schools to intervene, but the requests have failed. If they were to stop their pupils and staff from driving to school, the CPZ would not be needed. A blanket CPZ for the whole area seems a very heavy- handed way to try and stop pupils and staff from driving.

Dulwich Village is a very tight-knit and close community. We are supportive and protective of our independent businesses – some have been here for more than a hundred years. What has been brought to the fore with this CPZ consultation is that many people are very much against more change to our Village. We have had countless consultations (there were three just for Dulwich Village this week alone) on changes to road layouts and timed closures and many have been approaching consultation fatigue. We worry for our local businesses being not only impacted by the cost of parking permits which are over £650 per vehicle, but also the lack of care and consideration that the council has shown them over such an important decision. We know many people come from outside Dulwich to use our shops and amenities because Dulwich is a wonderful place to visit, we have a lovely park, an art gallery and lovely shops – we do not want to make Dulwich hostile to visitors who happen to use their cars. I take this opportunity to also mention that Dulwich scores low on the public transport accessibility level.

I have been asked to read the following from Gareth Martin, of Harvey and Wheeler estate agents, who is also the Treasurer of the Dulwich Village Association – an informal group of mainly independent local businesses.

“On behalf of the traders in Dulwich Village I would like to say that we feel we have been very poorly treated by the council. Despite several meeting and so called consultations we still feel marginalised and ignored by Southwark, who seem to take no account of our concerns regarding the availability of parking in the Village so essential to our continued existence and the continued existence of this small shopping centre serving its community. No one in Southwark is listening to us.”

-Thirdly, I wish to highlight the chaotic meeting on the evening of 10 January, when many people and business representatives – we think well over a 100 people – turned up. I was told by James Mcash, Cabinet Member for Streets, it was in a one to one meeting format requiring people to have registered previously and only ten people had done so. Having now had a chance to look at this I have found that neither on the Southwark website or in the booklet (page 10) does it say it will be a 1-2-1 format. A queue of people went all the way down the stairs and outside at the library. A lot of questions remain unanswered from residents.

There has also been discussions amongst neighbours and friends about what was said at the meeting on January 10. One person told me that a council officer has said only 10 people had asked for a CPZ. I have also been told that there are errors on the map the council has provided which is meant to show local requests for a CPZ. For example, a freedom of information request showed that no one from Woodwarde Road made a request for a CPZ, yet there are three dots on this road on the map provided. This same FOI states there has been no requests for a CPZ since October 2020. In total there have only been 29 requests for this whole area of hundreds of homes. For full transparency, we ask the council to release how many requests they’ve received in total in support of a CPZ for this area.

Lastly, no one was able to answer why Southwark has also included collision data as a justification that a CPZ is necessary. I’m quoting from the booklet: “collision at junctions are more likely when excess parking reduces visibility.” If this is the case, Southwark is able to place double yellow lines at every junction in this area without the need for a CPZ. This could be done immediately. The vast majority of the collisions shown on the map on page 7 of the booklet are on main roads. Road danger from speeding on roads such as East Dulwich Grove, Croxted Road and Lordship Lane has been brought to the attention of local councillors and the council as a whole for many years. No one was able to explain to residents how a CPZ will reduce speeding on main roads.

Thank you for listening to this.

Comments

  1. My post was that leaflets without their origin are being left on windscreens in our street. I think anonymous notes are unhelpful and not the transparency such matters deserve

    Steve

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