A clampdown on inappropriate pavement parking is welcomed by many. Missed bin collections cost the council tax payer because we have to send the crew on a repeat visit; parked cars force children's buggies into the road; they block access for the blind and disabled and cause access problems for emergency vehicles. Many people have said about this initiative "about time too".
Something needs to be done as at the moment the council is unable to act becuase only the police have any powers. The "solution" is to give agents acting on behalf of the council the ability to act. And this means issuing fines when necessary.
However, unlike the previous Labour administration, it is recognised that a blanket ban across town is not the answer. There are some streets where custom and practicality means that it is not necessarily dangerous to do so and in fact if it were to be imposed, it would actually make things worse. It's why the coalition asked ward councillors as community advocates to identify streets in their wards where pavement or grass verge parking needed to be regularised, or excepted from the orders.
Labour councillors have decided that they are going to refuse to take part at all in the process of consulting over parking on verges and payments and are letting their residents down in an act of political petulance.
I think it's more than that. I believe that they are in breach of the council constitution which states:
2.3 Roles and functions of all Councillors
(a) Key roles
All Councillors will:
- (ii) act as community advocates and leaders by:
- promoting and representing the Borough and the local communities and bringing their views into the decision-making processes of the Council and partner agencies;
- being the advocate of and for their ward and local people and communities living within it, including responding to petitions;
- providing information to, and promoting local democracy, participation and engagement by, sections of the local community
- (iv) balance different interests identified within the ward and represent the ward as a whole;
- (v) be involved in decision-making as provided by the Constitution, including:
- executive decisions by Lead Councillors through Cabinet
At the very minimum, residents with a Labour councillor should be demanding that they pay back the £8,224 that they are collecting in allowances whilst refusing to do the role for which they are being paid the money and failing to fulfil their job description.
It should also be noted that this is not a principled stand. Whilst they are whining like stuck pigs over the £75,000 "income" that they trumpet as being a cash-cow generator, the Labour administration budgeted and spent £600,000 by fining the poor if they were late paying their council tax. In one case Labour's policy of squeezing the poor until the pips squeaked made a family with four children homeless which then had to be picked up by the housing department at huge cost to the council tax payer.
Again, I won't be lectured by a bunch of Labour charlatans who have never had the interests of the residents of the Borough at heart. Simply their own warped and narrow political self-interest.