Monday, 18 October 2021

Controversy over Brent Council's proposal for Traffic Management Orders on its council estates - £50 annually per permit and no visitor parking at first


Brent Council is currently undertaking a major consultation exercise across its council estates on parking enforcement LINK. They wish to introduce a Traffic Management Order (TMO) on the estates and note 'should residents not support the alternative enforcement service will not be available on the estate.'  In other words, according to some residents if you do not support this proposal current difficulties will continue and we will abandon you to your fate.

The parking restrictions will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and will require residents to purchase parking permits at £50 per permit per year. Given the number of people living on all the above estates that amounts to a considerable sum, leading some people to suggest this is just a money raising venture.

A further criticism has been that this is a 'one size fits all' approach ignoring differences between estates and their proximity to Wembley Stadium, underground stations, major shopping centres etc which lead to outsiders parking on some estates but not on others.

A particular issue that has been drawn to my attention is that the consultation states that 'due to the restricted amount of parking space available on the estate and the need to provide the maximum amount of parking for residents, visitors will initially be unable to park within the estate' - this would be reviewed once the scheme is operational and the number of free spaces determined.  Given that family visiting at weekends and particularly for festivals is an important cultural tradition for many of Brent's communities this is seen  as posing a challenge for any equalities impact assessment.

Since publication of this article the Kilburn Times has published an article where women on the Kings Drive Estate have raised the issue of women's safety if they have to park a distance from their homes. See  LINK

Visitors parking on the estate would risk a Fixed Penalty Notice which at present is £130.

On my estate the removal of garages and a car park for 'in-fill' housing has reduced the number of parking spaces available but will also increase the population. While wanting people to rely less on cars and use public transport instead I cannot deny the impact this has had  and will also affect other estates ear-marked for in-fill developments.

There are undoubtedly parking problems and this has meant many missed waste collections when the huge  Veolia vehicles cannot get access. There are outsiders who park cars and vans on the estate overnight with the occasional overnighter sleeping in their vehicles on the access road. 

 The maps produced for the consultation appear to indicate fewer parking bays than are currently available. On this plan for Kings Drive, Wembley, you can see that there are 17 blocks each with 10 households. The number of parking bays is indicated in green.

A key question, given previous problems with enforcement by Brent Council, is will this mean anything if enforcement is not effective? Look again at all the estates affected and the ground that has to be covered.

Engagement sessions have been organised as part of the consultation, many of which have already taken place DETAILS

 The consultation closes on November 4th at 23.59



Why do we need to make these changes?


Vehicles parking in an unsafe and inconsiderate way blocks roads and pavements, and are making it difficult and unsafe for residents to move around their estates, as well as hindering access for the Council’s refuse collection vehicles. Residents on the estates are also finding it more and more difficult to find a space to park their car. More seriously, unsafe parking can prevent fire engines and ambulances from getting to the estates for emergencies.


How do the new controls work differently to the current ones?

Under the current system, Wing Parking (enforcement agents) are not legally allowed to access DVLA information, meaning they can only ever enforce against estates residents, not those parking there without permission. The new system will make it easier for the Council to enforce against vehicles parked poorly or inconsiderately which cause problems in the estates. These stricter controls have been proven to deter nuisance estate parking when used by other London authorities.


What are the benefits of these changes?

  • Residents should find it easier to access a suitable parking space.
  • There should be less disruption to emergency service vehicles, allowing them to respond more rapidly to issues on the estates.
  • Unauthorised vehicles will be deterred from entering the estates and parking in resident bays, which will increase parking availability for estate residents.
  • Unobstructed footways will improve parking accessibility and safety for pedestrians, the mobility impaired and pedestrians with pushchairs.
  • There should be an improvement in access for Council services, including a reduction in missed waste collections.



Anonymous said...

I live on one of these estates, we are a family of 4 and have 4 vehicles as we all need a vehicle as part of our work/job. Parking is already woefully inadequate and no amount of enforcement will change this. We dont have any visitors that need to drive for this reason.

Jaine Lunn said...

What is the solution for residents who live on these estates if they require visits from District Nurses, Healthcare Assistants, Home Help etc what provision is made for these people to park if only for a limited time? I know some have "Essential User Permits" but not all.

Philip Grant said...

There will be times that residents will need a visit from someone to repair their washing machine, or other household appliance.

If there are no visitor permits, will these "visitors" risk a £130 penalty charge?

Anonymous said...

Are our Labour Councillors really wishing to lose their seats at the next Council election? Or is it Officers trying to get a new Administration (and who would blame them)?

An extra £50 per person rent for all our Council Tenants, what a great idea to gain votes.

This could only happen in the London Borough of Butt. Perhaps they also think that the Granville New Homes £18.5 million pound loss dumped on the poor Council Tenants is a vote winner too (tell the public we knew nothing about this until this year, they'll believe us, we are great and know better than residents who speak up about water leaks etc).

Then of course there is the vote winner called Safer Neighbourhoods (pervious LTNs) where Cllr Tatler closes roads without consultation with residents and the likes of Nerva and Southwood ignores residents protestrations. Another shore fire vote winner (not). I wonder if they changed the name to remove the stench around the acronym LTN.

Some of these allies of Butt such as Nerva, Tatler, Mclennan and Southwood (to name a few) should be wary of losing their seats next year.

We can only wonder what vote loser will spill out of Butt's Brent next, perhaps a very large council tax rise that's all the fault of the Tories? Perhaps the reduction in services from our local hospitals? Reductions in bus services? Crime rate climbing? Litter and fly tipping increasing? There you go, increase the price at the recycling centre by imposing a charge to drive to it from the north of Brent.

Poor Brent and getting poorer, but don't worry, the Cabinet Lead for Regeneration can help her developer friends to build some flatpack appartments next door to you.

Good luck my friends, you need it in Butt's Brent.

Anonymous said...

If 4 of you are working time and can each afford cars time to vacate the council house for the more needy.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised by the critique of the proposal for the Traffic Management Orders on estates. This is one of the few initiatives by Brent Council that I wholly support. I live adjacent to estates and for years, motorists, most of whom reside on the estate, have parked their vehicles without any consideration of parking rules and access for pedestrians and cyclists. Motorists have been parking their cars on the footpath/pavement, which serves as a cycleway. They also park on lowered kerbs and block disability access. This area is next door to a tube station and within a 5 minute walk to many buses. The cars are status symbols rather than a transport necessity.

Anonymous said...

Response to Anonymous 20.33
20 years ago we were homeless with 2 young children, 2 vehicles are company vehicles and the other 2 are both over 10 years old, and believe me if we could afford a mortgage we would have done so and moved out of Brent.

Anonymous said...

I support estate parking being put under a Traffic Management Order. Wing Parking, Brent Council's parking enforcement agent for estates, is incompetent. They claim that they are unable to enforce effectively because they are unable to access to driver's information from DVLA. This is simply untrue. According to DVLA's guidance,

"Information can be released to:

• landowners or their agents who offer car parking facilities under specific terms and conditions so they can contact drivers who may have parked their vehicle in breach of the parking conditions
• trespass companies who issue charge notices where parking is not permitted. "

What this guidance means is that Wing Parking is able to obtain driver's information from the DVLA in two ways 1) as agents of Brent Council and 2) as a trespass company who issues charge notices. Wing Parking does not do so because they do not fulfill their responsibilities as a contractor and have neglected parking enforcement.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Brent Councils been ripped off by Wing Parking!!!

Philip Grant said...

This is my reply to a comment above, although it deals with much wider issues than just Brent Council’s proposals for parking on Council Estates.

I can understand some (but certainly not agree with all) of what Anonymous (18 October at 20:18) has said, but I don’t think that unpopular policies, such as the one being “consulted” on here, are going to cause Labour councillors to lose their seats in next May’s local elections.

I’ll explain why, and what I think will be needed to change the imbalance of power at the Civic Centre. But I do so as a political independent, and not as a member or direct supporter of any party.

I’m not in a position to change anything myself, but I can ask you to think about what I’ve written below, please, and to see if it makes any sense to you.

The Labour Party in Brent, and Cllr. Butt because of the strong hold he appears to have over it, have built up a large majority of seats on the Council over the previous two elections (2014 and 2018). They will be difficult to displace, and it will need a big effort from ALL those opposed to them, even to gain enough seats to form a strong opposition, let alone to win a majority.

The idea that Officers may be trying ‘to get a new Administration’ is at best wishful thinking. They are, “of course”, politically neutral, and will not attempt to change the status quo.

Because Cllr. Butt has been Chair of the Senior Staff Appointments Sub-Committee for most of the past ten years, he has picked the top Officers who suit him. Even if they are not his supporters, they will do nothing to oppose him – especially as they usually get the policies they propose agreed by the Leader and his Cabinet!

As I’ve said in other comments recently, the Council’s own publicity material only puts out positive stories. These often include quotes from, and photos of, the Leader and his closest Cabinet colleagues. This gives the impression that all is well in Brent, and that this is a result of the efforts of Cllrs. Butt, Tatler, Krupa Sheth, Southwood etc. It also gives an unfair advantage to those currently in power, who just happen to be Labour councillors.

It is only the efforts of blog sites such as “Wembley Matters”, “Life in Kilburn” and others, and some reports in the “Kilburn Times” etc., that give a more realistic view of what is going on in our borough. But what proportion of Brent’s voters are regular readers of these sources?

What can those who feel that change is needed at Brent Council do about it, particularly during the next six months running up to nominations for the May 2022 Council elections?

Comment continued below:-

Philip Grant said...

Part 2 of comment:-

Labour candidates received more than 50% of the total votes cast at the 2018 local elections, but that was on a turnout of only (if I remember correctly) about 37% of those who could have voted. Some of those who turned out to vote Labour may change their minds in 2022, but any swing back towards a more balanced Council will need a higher turnout of people voting for other candidates.

There are some very good Labour councillors, so residents can cast one of their votes for a serving councillor who has represented them, and their Ward, well. But they could also use one (or two, if it is a Ward with three seats) votes for a candidate from another group, whose policies or personality make them appear a good choice.

As voting is on a “first past the post” system, the best chance of displacing Labour candidates you don’t wish to see elected will be through sensible voting.

I believe it would make sense for “opposition” parties to work together, if they wish to get councillors who are not “Labour” elected. This could be by openly not standing in particular Wards, and recommending that their supporters use their votes for the potentially strongest “opposition” candidates in that Ward.

Or it could be through an understanding between them, that they will just put one candidate forward (say, in a 3 seat Ward, one each from Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green). They would all encourage their supporters to vote for those “opposition” candidates, and promise that ALL of the councillors elected for those parties would work together co-operatively for the next four years. This would either be in government, if enough are elected, or to provide a strong opposition to hold the Labour majority to account.

It need not be just formal political parties involved in such arrangements. If there is a strong residents’ group in a particular area, willing to put forward one or more candidates (such as Keep Willesden Green in 2014), they could also be part of the “opposition”.

If this sort of approach is to have any chance of success, the parties (or groups) need to start working together very soon, and agree their strategy. They also need to publicise what they are doing, and why they are doing it, as widely as possible. Social media will need to be a big part of this, because the word can be spread and spread again, to reach as many potential voters as possible.

Brent Labour has a big “war chest” of money for leaflets and publicity in the run up to May 2022 (funded mainly, if my information on this is still correct, out of the 10% of the Members Allowances which their councillors are expected to donate to the local Party – so as the allowances come out of out Council Tax, funded by us). No single “opposition” party, or even all of them together, is likely to be able to match their printed efforts.

If I’m an independent, why am I writing all this?

Because I’m a citizen of Brent who believes that the almost “one party state” in our borough, which we’ve seen emerge over the past few years, it is unhealthy for our democracy. Too much power is in the hands of too few people (albeit people elected through our democratic system).

We need more people to vote, and a broader range of representatives, who are able to question and scrutinise those making the decisions which affect our lives far better than seems possible at the moment. That’s my view – please feel free to add your own!

Anonymous said...

Unnecessary comment. It's about parking not occupants in a property.1 of the reasons the world is such a mess is because of people like you!!

Anonymous said...

Always those who don't require a car for work or to transport tglhe elderly and needy in support of such nonsense. Go and live in the woods

Anonymous said...

I am not in favour of these proposals and funny that none of my neighbours received consultation papers or letters on new plans to enforce parking control. They will then say it was a unanimous vote for the proposal. Just another way to segregate and isolate people from friends and family. Most people in council housing in large estates need family support and no visitor parking is shocking especially with parking being restricted on nearby roads as part of that Khan mans plan for cleaner ait (another time another post) so those most in need will be cut off as the next step will be cameras and tickets for delivery drivers and all sorts..Take take take that's all dutty brent does

Anonymous said...

If only

Martin Francis said...

Alison Hopkins has posted this comment on the View from Dollis Hill Facebook site:

Just sent this to the head of Brent Housing about those estate parking proposals.
The errors which I wish to highlight are in area 5, which is mostly Dollis Hill ward. It seems to me that the consultation partner has not bothered to actually visit the area, but rather relied on very out of date maps. The errors include:
- Aneurin Bevan Court. The map of spaces proposed includes the area of the current car park on which Brent has planning permission to build a new block of flats. Thus, this area will not be available. When planning permission was granted, statements of parking space availability were made by Brent. These failed to take into account the true level of demand and vehicle ownership in the flats, which was bad enough, but these proposals exacerbate that very real problem even further. When the new block is built, it will expand the number of dwellings to 39, rather than the current 30. But, given the huge mistake on the map, the only available spaces will be the four shown on the access road, which is obviously wholly inadequate. In addition, that access road is the only entrance to Diesel House, who have right of way over it. The map which your consultation partners have used is also at least twenty years out of date.
- Comber Close and Ainsworth Close estate. The stretch of parking shown on Ainsworth Close blocks access to the new houses on that road, and obstructs their drives. The parking spaces which seem to refer to the current car park are on an area where it is my understanding that Brent wish to carry out infill development so these spaces will be lost. The same comment applies to the spaces shown for Bell/Banting/Mackenzie Houses, also subject to possible infill. The map shows double yellow lines to be implemented on Forbes Close. Forbes Close is not a Brent owned or maintained road, it is the property of Genesis housing association who own the four blocks of flats there. They carry out their own parking enforcement already.
- No accommodation has been made for the non Brent Council properties which lie within the curtilage of the Comber Close/Ainsworth Close estate, despite the fact that they will be badly impacted. Nor have they been consulted in any way. These properties are Sienna Terrace, Wood Terrace and the aforementioned four blocks on Forbes Close.
- Burrmead Court has no allocated parking spaces at all. Why is this?
- On the main consultation page, mention is made of the Gladstone Park Estate, which is Oxleys Road, Coppermead, Broadfield and Mascotts Close. However, there are NO maps of proposals on the detailed link.
In more general terms, no consideration at all has been given to the residents around the proposed parking restriction areas. Humber Road and Coles Green Road are already congested: residents of Aneurin Bevan will have no option but to add to that problem. The same applies for those living on Brook Road, Alder Grove, Pinemartin Close, Pippin Close, Randall Avenue, Vincent Gardens and Dollis Hill Lane which will be badly impacted by overspill. We are a close knit community and we would not wish to see disharmony engendered. I run a residents association Facebook group with some 2600 members and considerable anger and disquiet has already been expressed by many.

Philip Grant said...

It looks as though Alison Hopkins is taking a real interest in this matter, on behalf of people living in her area.

I wonder what, if anything, the current councillors for Dollis Hill Ward have done about this estate parking "consultation" so far.

If Alison puts herself forward in next May's local elections, I hope that Dollis Hill residents will remember this, and take it into consideration when deciding who to vote for.

Anonymous said...

Removing parking is part of reducing the infrastructure that enables and promotes individual automobile ownership and use. Reducing individual automobile ownership and use is good for the environment (reduction of pollution, reduced use of fossil fuel), good for urban space (less space for cars and dominance of cars in public space), and good for public health (more people are walking/cycling, less pollution in the air, fewer accidents). It is unsurprising to me that the View from Dollis Hill group is against these measures. This group is a notorious, rabidly motorist focused group. Anyone who advocates for space and consideration for pedestrians and cyclists are bullied and trolled, with the moderators' tacit approval, and kicked out. Neighborhood people who announce group cycle rides are trolled. It's a toxic group that reflects the attitudes of the moderators.