Gazette letters: CPZ, clean air and history lesson for mayor

A file image of a CPZ sign. Picture: Alan Stanton/Flickr/Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A file image of a CPZ sign. Picture: Alan Stanton/Flickr/Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0) - Credit: Archant

The increased parking in Prout, Casimir, Cleveleys and Gunton roads has made life for residents a misery since CPZs were introduced in neighbouring roads last year, writes Elaine Radburn, Upper Clapton.

These streets have become a weekday car park for anything from horse boxes (untaxed and parked up for the last two years) to large delivery vans and anything in between.

However, this week, things reached an all-time low when the family of a neighbour who sadly had recently passed away was advised not to have her funeral cortège pass by the house she had lived in for well over 50 years because the hearses would in all probability get stuck. Neighbours were denied the opportunity to pay their last respects.

The progressive creep of the CPZ has meant bit by bit residents are forced into accepting parking restrictions in order to get some quality of life back.

Hackney’s parking policy has created a problem where there wasn’t one before and the residents will now have to pay to fix it!

In the wake of the chaotic council meeting regarding Walford Road closures where Cllr Feryal Demirci has had to again defend road closures displacing traffic in front of already polluted school buildings, it is worth noting that Cllr Demirci is also in charge of parks – yet her concerns over pollution and children do not extend to the smoke from barbecuing on London Fields park in the summer months, writes Ivor Benjamin, Hackney, full address supplied.

On hot summer weekends, there are very high levels of smoke pollution in close proximity to housing to the west, south and north and to the children’s playground 100m to the east, as well as to park users in general. Residents adjacent to the barbecue area in Lansdowne Drive are all having persistent problems. It is self-evident that the presence of numerous barbecues significantly elevates the levels of PM2.5 and PM10 particles, carbon monoxide and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in the vicinity, and the dangers of breathing these particles and PAH are now well-documented.

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Pollution levels within and around the “Designated Barbecue Area” can easily be as great as standing by a busy main road – with the addition of directly carcinogenic PAH.

Cllr Demirci has been only to keen to warn us all about the effects of pollution from vehicles and to promote her efforts to prevent them, but year-on-year since 2011 she has allowed and condoned barbecues on the Fields.

Perhaps Hackney Council should be persuaded to apply the same logic to children’s playgrounds and parks as they do to roads and schools.

The mayor of Hackney appears to have failed to check the facts when he claims my letter “is misleading and mixed up on its history” , writes Christopher Sills, Dunsmure Road, Stamford Hill.

The extreme left of the Labour Party took control in 1982 and after the May 1982 elections started to introduce Jeremy Corbyn style policies including failing to fix a legal rate until Cllr Tony Milward organised an internal revolt and took control of the council.

Cllr Millward started the long process of getting council services under control but the social services department was neglected.

I was elected to the council for the third time in May 1994 and appointed social services spokesman. I quickly discovered this was still completely unreformed.

In July 1996, the Trotter Affair broke and became a national scandal and I spent a lot of time talking to the national press.

About a third of the Labour Party wanted an inquiry, but the leadership refused. This led to them walking out early in September 1996 and the council became hung because the ex-Labour members became Hackney New Labour.

As the council was now hung, an inquiry was held and a very critical report on the management of the social services department until the Labour Party split was published just before the borough elections in May 1998. This resulted in Hackney’s social services department having to be supervised by the Labour government, in spite of the fact the hung council had replaced the director of social services and the department was being turned round by a new director and getting better by the day.

As the elections approached, New Labour split into three. Some joined the Conservatives, some joined the Liberals and a few who did not want to stand remained as New Labour.

The problem we had was the Liberal Party was so split that their leaders would agree something and their group would then vote in a different way. The Labour and Tory leaders thought the Liberals were so irresponsible the only responsible thing to do was to enter into a coalition to run the borough until the council could function normally again.

It is clearly time that, as in 1968, a tired Labour administration is replaced by a reforming Conservative council before 1982 history repeats itself.