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Oct 17 2013

ILG Say: Tory Cabinet Ignored Traders and Local Residents

ilg_roseThe ILG have issued the following statement, after tonight’s Cabinet Meeting, where the Rayners Lane 20-minute Free Parking trial was discussed:

The new Tory Cabinet under Susan Hall this evening (17 October), stopped the roll out of free 20 minutes parking across the Borough started by the Independent Labour Leader, Thaya Idaikkadar, after successful trial in Rayners Lane which saw increased footfall and was endorsed by locals.

Local traders and residents who were present at the Cabinet meeting were so unhappy about the Tory Cabinet decision that they challenged Cllr Susan Hall repeatedly during the meeting about why was she misleading by providing inaccurate examples, together with half cooked figures.

Cllr Thaya Idaikkadar, Leader of the Independent labour Group, said: “Local Traders waited for more than two hours to see the Tory Cabinet ignoring their calls to support them in this difficult financial time. Independent Labour provided tangible help by introducing free 20 minutes parking in Harrow to support our local traders and to encourage our residents to shop locally. The evidence suggested clearly that it helped the local traders, by increasing footfall. Cllr Susan Hall chose to ignore the following:

  • The Public Sector Equality duty provision was not set out in the report, as is required.
  • Figures to support cancellation were dubious. This was a political way to influence and interpret the report.
  • Tories shut out local residents who waited there for two hours from raising the concerns about inaccurate information in her comments about the item, according to them, about Hillingdon comparison. Residents then spoke to press.
  • Cllr Hall did not address the question that by rolling out free 20 minutes parking across the Borough, when the free one hour parking in North Harrow ceases.
  • This money will be saved. Tory policy may force local businesses to close down, causing misery for local traders while the Council also loses business rates.
  • The Tories do not realise the long term and associated benefits of this scheme on the local economy and regeneration.
  • Local traders were never consulted!

Footnote: Analysis by iharrow showed that using figures provided as a result of the trial that giving 20-minutes free parking would cost in excess of £1,000,000 a year. Based on those figures, we can’t see how extending the scheme across the borough, in it’s current form, is workable, without either significant cuts elsewhere or a hike in the Council Tax rate.

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1 comment

  1. King David

    How can a report be presented with key details missing? Will the decision not be subject to challenge? Why were local traders not consulted? perhaps local media and iharrow should speak to locals and carry out a survey.

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