Ealing Council Criticised Over CPZ Policy

Consultation 'inadequate' - resident to be compensated

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Residents Complain to Ombudsman over CPZ

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Ealing Council


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Ealing Council has been told its policy on Controlled Parking Zones is inadequate.

For reasons of privacy the report by the Local Government Ombudsman does not reveal real names or addresses. But the Council says it refers to the consultation in Southall and specifically Inverness Road.

A local resident ‘Mr Shah’ (not his real name) accused Ealing of not dealing properly with the implementation of the CPZ in the area where he lives. His home is on a cul-de-sac that was excluded from the CPZ, although the road it leads from was included.

After the consultation exercise, a number of roads were selected to be included in the scheme. A plan to reconsult residents of six roads excluded from the scheme (including Mr Shah’s) was not followed up although it was recognised that these roads were likely to suffer as a result of displacement parking. Two of the roads were then included in the scheme, but not Mr Shah’s road.

Mr Shah now says he is frequently unable to park in his own road, and then has to park several streets away, as those around him are either within the CPZ or similarly affected by displacement parking.

The Ombudsman says the documentation sent out by the Council as part of the consultation exercise was “deficient in not drawing the attention of the recipients to the possibility of displacement parking on streets left out of the CPZ,” which means that they were given insufficient information to make an informed decision on whether they wished their street to be included.

The Ombudsman considered that the consultation exercise for the CPZ was inadequate, denying many of the recipients an opportunity to express a meaningful view. Despite the obvious inadequacies of the scheme that has been implemented, the Council has also failed to take steps to bring forward the review of the CPZ and seems unlikely to be able to do this within a year of the scheme coming into operation, as set out in its policy. Mr Shah, and others, may therefore have to put up with parking problems for longer than should have been the case.

The Ombudsman finds maladministration causing injustice and recommends the Council to:

* ensure that the CPZ for Mr Shah’s area is reviewed at the earliest opportunity;
* pay Mr Shah £500 to reflect the fact that residents were denied the opportunity to make a fully-informed decision on the proposed CPZ in December 2006, and for the delay in carrying out a review of the CPZ; and
* pay Mr Shah a further £500 to reflect his time and trouble in pursuing his complaint.

A Council spokesman said: “We don't agree with some elements of the Ombudsman's report but we will accept the judgement. We will carry out the actions recommended by him.”


Meanwhile the Ombudsman is reviewing another complaint about CPZs from the Ealing Dean area. It has been referred to the Chief Executive for response by mid-September.

Campaigners in Ealing Dean say:

"The LGO has referred our complaints to the Chief Executive and we understand he/she will respond to us direct by mid-September.  Maybe he/she will be more prepared to provide straight answers to our direct questions.  But what we really want is quick and direct action - as was promised back in February"

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July 17, 2009