Rectory Road residents call for halt to CPZ to allow consultation review

Residents campaign against the proposed CPZ zone in the Rectory Road area. Photo: Caroline Penn

Residents campaign against the proposed CPZ zone in the Rectory Road area. Photo: Caroline Penn - Credit: Archant

Residents who believe Hackney Council has not properly consulted them over parking restrictions are calling for an independent review into the way the authority carries out consultations and a halt to the CPZ being implemented on their streets.

Despite a majority of locals voting against parking restrictions around Rectory Road station in Stoke Newington when they were first consulted in March, the council plans to impose a controlled parking zone (CPZ) in February from 7am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday.

It will require residents to buy a permit of up to £109 a year for a car with a normal-sized engine.

Graphic designer Paul Sinclair, of Norcott Road, Stoke Newington, said: “When the council originally did the consultation, they only got 37 per cent in favour of the CPZ.

“What’s the point in introducing it when the majority are against it? The council were also supposed to take six weeks to do the consultation, but they reduced it to four weeks.

“When people were consulted they were not told what the hours or the cost would be. Now they know, they are really unhappy.

“They have decided they want to go ahead with it and they have ignored the majority vote.”

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The issue was further compounded when residents living in the proposed CPZ area were sent letters in December notifying them of the scheme just days before the deadline for objections – despite the council announcing statutory consultation period in paper Hackney Today on November 19.

Mr Sinclair added: “The letter did not say the statutory consultation ended on December 10. A resident informed me that he didn’t receive the letter until December 13 – three days after the deadline. The council didn’t date the letter and didn’t mention the deadline of December 10 in the ‘what happens next’ paragraph because they realised it would look rather silly.”

Gary Malcolm, who lives in the Rectory Road area, added: “There needs to be a review, asking if the council are conducting a fair, unbiased consultation that people can actually understand.

“The whole process has meant it has been difficult to hold the council to account as they have sidestepped issues. People might not agree with what the council are saying but they assume it is correct.”

In a letter to Hackney Downs ward councillors Andrew Russell and Michael Desmond, residents called for the suspension of the CPZ plans until an independent review of the consultation has been completed, and a broader review of the management of CPZ consultations borough-wide.

A council spokesman said: “The consultation process is fully transparent and allows everyone to have a say about the possible introduction of parking controls.

“In the case of the Rectory Road consultation, we received a number of requests for an urgent review of parking stresses in the area.

“The deadline for feedback was publicised in all communications materials.”