Tim Godfrey, one of the Labour councillors for Selhurst - who is normally a decent bloke - has an article on his blog suggesting that I supported the Council's proposals to extend the hours of operation of the outer zones of the Croydon Controlled Parking Zone.
I don't know what planet he has been on for the last few weeks. As readers of this blog will know:
- I objected to the proposals;
- I wrote to every household in the area of my constituency affected to encourage them to object;
- I met with Phil Thomas, the Cabinet Member responsible, to lobby him; and
- I attended the meeting of the Traffic Management Cabinet Committee where the final decision was taken to represent residents' views.
What seems to have set Cllr Godfrey off is a sentence in a letter I have sent to residents informing them of the Council's decision to drop the proposals. The offending sentence reads:
"I am delighted to inform you that our lobbying has paid off - on Wednesday night, the Council's Traffic Management Committee decided not to proceed with the proposals (apart from in a few roads around Mayday Hospital where residents want something done)".
Now first of all Tim, note that I am "delighted" that the Committee "decided not to proceed with the proposals" - pretty hard to square this with me supporting them, don't you think?
You challenge me to tell you someone in the roads around Mayday who wants the scheme. Well, paragraph 4.26 of the report tells us that "a councillor for Broad Green Ward [that will be a Labour councillor Tim] is supporting residents of Midhurst Avenue who petitioned the Council for evening and Sunday controls". Now I confess, I don't know the state of public opinion in the area concerned - it is not in my constituency. I was simply going by what it said in the report. Are you saying that the report is incorrect?
What I do know is this. I lobbied for these proposals to be dropped in the East Inner, East Outer, South and West zones, all or parts of which lie in my constituency. And they have been. And I am grateful to the Council for listening. It is not my job to represent people in other parts of the borough.
When I was at the meeting last Wednesday night, I couldn't help noticing that not one of the six Labour councillors for Selhurst and Broad Green - whose job it is to represent the area in question - were there to object to the proposals. I didn't say anything because I had no wish to make the issue political - I was there to get the right result for the people I represent. But since you seem to want to play political games, I have some questions for you Tim.
Why weren't you at the meeting?
Did you submit an objection?
Did you meet with Cllr Thomas to lobby him to change his mind?
Did you write to all the residents in your ward affected by the proposals to alert them?
I look forward to your answers.