PROPOSED ANYTIME WAITING RESTRICTIONS (DOUBLE YELLOW LINES)

Sometimes there is a visibility problem when trying to exit Plantation Road due to vehicles (especially the vans) parking on or near the corners in Slade Green Road. Word of this has now reached Bexley Council's Traffic Planning Department who have offered to introduce anytime waiting restrictions, in the form of double yellow lines. However, these may be of benefit in one respect, but will be of considerable disadvantage in another, as we will lose more parking spaces and some residents will no longer be able to park outside their own residences. They will also no longer be able to load or unload without the threat of receiving a parking penalty notice. We have suggested to Bexley Council that a convex mirror sighted on the lamppost opposite the exit of Plantation Road would be a more preferable option as it will aid visibility but not compromise parking or loading facilities for any of the residents. Our subsequent POP survey showed that 89% of people were not in favour of the double yellow lines but would prefer a convex mirror on the lamppost, with 80% of people feeling that this scheme would make life worse and more difficult. Mr Rey from Bexley Council said a mirror was not possible as the council don't do mirrors, however, a few weeks later this one turned up less than 150 yards away from where we wanted ours.


This letter from Bexley Council was sent to just four residents. It explains a proposal
to introduce yellow lines at the junction of Plantation Road and Slade Green Road

Letter from Bexley Council

Owner/Occupier
148 Slade Green Road
Slade Green
Kent
DA8 2JE

Dear Resident,

Plantation Road jw Slade Green Road - Proposed Waiting Restrictions

Inconsiderate parking at junctions can restrict driver's visibility and sightlines posing a risk to road safety. Therefore the Council is proposing to introduce 'At any time waiting restrictions (double yellow lines), as shown on the attached plan.

The Draft Traffic Management order has been advertised.

If you have any comment you wish to make about the proposal, please sned them to me by 11 February 2015 and they will be considered along awith any other objections/comments we receive.

Should there be no valid objections, the Order will be made and the work will be carried out to mark the yellow lines. However, any objections received will be reported to Councillor Don Massey, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Public Realm.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me on the above telephone number.

Yours faithfully
Vinny Rey
Traffic Engineer
Traffic Services


Our Reply

Services and Programmes
Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street
Bexleyheath, Kent
DA6 7AT

NOV/14/WRR

Re: Plantation Road jw Slade Green Road - Proposed Parking Restrictions

09/02/15

Dear Mr Rey,

Having spoken to some of the residents regarding the said proposals, the feeling is that the visibility problem is not a major issue to the majority of us. It is mainly compounded by one of the resident's vans parking in Slade Green Road, where for security reasons, he needs to load and unload his tools. At such times people rightfully exercise just a little more caution when edging out.

The general feeling is that further parking restrictions would cause additional parking problems for residents and visitors alike, as at times, we need all the parking spaces we currently have. There are also issues with residents, such as myself, being able to load and unload heavier items, which would also be affected by the proposals. For example, I have recently had to move my ex-wife and family back in, together with their belongings and furniture items. This would not by any means have been as practical or straightforward if there were parking restrictions of any sort.

However, if any residents do feel there is a problem with visibility at times, when exiting Plantation Road, we would like to suggest the sighting of a convex mirror on the existing lamppost, opposite the exit of Plantation Road. This would help solve the occasional visibility problem without compromising parking and loading facilities and is the much preferable option with all the residents I have spoken to up until now. Please let me know if this is agreeable and if you would like me to do a more thorough residents' survey, as I also note that quite a few of the residents were not aware of this proposal. For example, it appears none of the residents in Plantation Road have actually been consulted, but nevertheless this scheme would affect everybody, as residents and visitors alike currently rely on all the available parking we have. Thank you.

Yours faithfully,
D.J. Tarrant


Further email to Bexley Council

31/03/2015

Dear Mr Rey,

Please find below the results of our survey so far. There are still a few forms that haven't come back yet but the percentages below are based on the opinions of 30 residents so far. Forms were distributed to residents in Plantation Road and to the residents in Slade Green Road, who live directly either side of Plantation Road, some of which who park in Plantation Road.

Regards,
D.J. Tarrant


Reply from Bexley Council

13/04/15

Dear Mr Tarrant

Unfortunately, the deadline for comments and objections to be received and considered by the Cabinet Member in relation to this proposal was 11th February. The comments and objections received in relation to this proposal have been considered by the Cabinet Member a number of weeks ago and the decision has been taken to implement the proposal as it was advertised. I am in the process in informing those directly affected and the objectors of the Cabinet Members decision.

Regards
Vinny Rey
Traffic Engineer
Traffic Services


Further email to Bexley Council

15/04/15

Dear Mr Rey,

I understand what you say about the deadline, given the normal sequence of events, however, as this is new information, and it is extremely relevant, it must be forwarded to the Cabinet Member with utmost urgency so that he can be made fully aware that his current position and decision is completely out of step with the majority public viewpoint and the greater democratic requirement. It will not go down too well with the general public anywhere if, at such a time, even more public money is wasted on something that is not only not required, or felt necessary by the significantly greater majority of people that actually live here, but will in fact actually make life more difficult for us. Spending more public money on making life even worse? That will definitely be upsetting people here! I hope that is not your intention? Bexley Council have a history of spending our money on things which we either don't want, don't need, or that make life more difficult for us. It is a shame that the Council do not listen to the people whose money it is that they are actually spending and whom they are actually supposed to be serving. Especially considering the Council's current motto is Listening To You, Working For You! If more public money is spent patently against the majority public view and requirement, simply in order to make things worse for us, the Council will be in the spotlight for abusing the trust we put in them to do the right thing by the people that pay their wages. Please make sure that this information gets to where it needs to be as it is very important that you understand the ramifications and the importance of what is being said here. You must understand that this issue has now become a measure of how much of a democracy we currently live in. The way Bexley Council treat and disregard people at times is wholly unacceptable. We are not happy with the Council's attitude and do not intend to be bulldozed by an ill-informed Cabinet Member who doesn't even live here! It is not what we want!

I would also add that taking additional time to get feedback from all the residents affected is something that Bexley Council should have had the decency to do themselves. It is not my job to do the Council's job and canvas the populate, however, as Bexley Council obviously don't consider people important enough to adequately consider their feelings and opinions, or act on them, I am happy to help out here so that we can avoid a blatant miscarriage of justice. I would like to remind you also that the last time we spoke on the phone you personally told me that there was no rush and that proceedings regarding this matter would take many weeks, which in fact they have. You also told me that you would forward any relevant additional information we provided, which I would ask you to kindly do. It appears to me that there is still plenty of time to advise the Cabinet Member that he is wrong so that he can reverse his decision and avoid the embarrassment of being so out of touch with the people he is supposed to be serving. Failure to observe the majority public opinion in this matter will only cause an escalation of bad feeling and will not benefit anyone. This is a democracy isn't it?

Regards,
D.J. Tarrant


Reply from Bexley Council

15/04/15

Dear Mr Tarrant

Thank you for your email below.

I am sorry that you are disappointed with the outcome of the consultation process. However, it is not possible to consider any comments or objections in relation to this proposal as the deadline has passed and a decision has now been reached. The consultation took place over a three week period during January and early February ending on 11th February, your communication below was not received until 31st March. Whilst I accept that I told you during our telephone conversation that the whole decision process does take some time, I did inform you that there was a deadline for comments and objections in relation to the proposal to be included the Cabinet Report and considered by the Cabinet Member. The consultation process included letters to the directly affected properties whilst notices were placed on lamp columns in the vicinity and in the local press to further inform members of the general public giving them the opportunity to pass comment / object. The deadline for comments / objections was included on the correspondence sent to residents as part of the consultation process and on the public notices and press notices published in relation to the proposal at this location. The consultation carried out that gave residents the opportunity to pass comment or object. I accept that following your canvassing exercise that many residents have now decided to voice their opinion however, this information was not received during the consultation period and thus has not and cannot be considered. The comments and objections that were received during the consultation process were included in a report that went to the Cabinet Member for a decision on how best to progress the proposal. A decision has subsequently been made and published and it is not possible to reverse the decision even in light of the additional information you have submitted for consideration.

It is worth noting the proposal for this location was progressed following concerns raised by your local Ward Member about inconsiderate parking close to the junction. It is felt that the proposed restrictions will contribute to improving road safety as parked vehicles at the location were observed to restrict visibility and sightlines for motorists wishing to exit Plantation Road. The decision has been made based on the Council’s continuing commitment to improving road safety.

I understand your disappointment regarding the decision however, forwarding this information to the Cabinet Member is not going to enable the decision to be reversed or reconsidered. That said, I will forward a copy of this email to the Cabinet Member for information.

I trust this information is of use and am sorry that I could not provide a more positive response.

Regards
Vinny Rey
Traffic Engineer
Traffic Services


Further email to Bexley Council

20/04/15

Dear Mr Rey,

Thank you for your reply to my email. I am not only, as you say, very disappointed, I am somewhat disgusted, and likewise so on behalf of the people that live here. Who are now, against their will, going to incur even more unnecessary problems deliberately created by Bexley Council, which will take our quality of life down further. Over the years we have had a few issues with Bexley Council behaving against the grain of common sense, fair play, decency, and democratic opinion, and we have yet to get satisfactory resolution in these areas. In fact, in my experience, which is considerable, I have never known Bexley Council to take any notice of public opinion and even where the Council pretends to consult the public it makes no difference to the outcome. The Council's attitude stinks and that has been duly noted. I have a letter here from Stef Borella confirming the decision to go ahead, in which he actually states, "no one from the area raised any objections". Where on earth did he get that impression? That is a blatant untruth which either he is party to, or someone has shrouded him in ignorance and led him to believe that no one raised any objections! Or maybe he's not even bothered to find out? However, the truth will come out because both you and I know that all of the initial correspondence as well as the phone calls you received, without exception, involved people raising objections to the scheme. In fact, to my knowledge, as of this moment, there are only two households out of the 38 potentially affected that are in favour of this scheme. Most are not and the vast majority of people have now, having been given the opportunity by us, voted against it with pen and paper. It will cause more problems for us than it cures and you will be unnecessarily wasting taxpayers' money if you implement it, as well as making life more difficult for us. I do not accept that this decision cannot be reversed, of course it can. It is not the job of Bexley Council to make life more difficult for the people that pay its wages and yet this is what the Council do time and time again. In all the years I have been having dealings with Bexley Council, the Council has shown no consideration for people's feelings and has not at all behaved in a democratic fashion. The Council should without doubt change its motto because listen to the people it certainly does not. Nor does it work for us! It is an outrage that at such times of money shortages and people being made to go without that Bexley Council is prepared to waste the taxpayers' money on something that, democratically speaking, NOBODY WANTS, is unnecessary and which will just make life more difficult for us. It is about time the Council stopped pushing its weight around and bullying people against the grain of common sense and against the democratic voice. Have some respect for those whose money you spend and spend it on something we want. Something useful that actually improves things for people and doesn't make life more impossible for them. By the way, who is this mysterious Cabinet Member? I would like to have a word with him.

With regard to notification of the residents, we do not consider planting an A4 fine print notice on a couple of posts at one end of the street to be sufficient. I would like to make you aware, for future reference, if you are not already, that most people generally do not even see them, let alone read them. They are, in fact, wholly inadequate when compared to posting a letter or leaflet through the door. And that's what we did. We posted letters through doors. We then gave people time to respond, collated and analysed the data and converted it into a percentage democratic measure of the residents' opinions. That is because we wanted to consider and canvass all the people affected. That is how a democracy should work and that is something the Council itself should be prepared to do. So why does it not, and why is it not prepared to allow the time for a thorough consultation of all people affected? It is simply not good enough! The Council is falling significantly short and needs to up its game and its consideration of the people it is supposed to serve!

With regard to the deadline, both you and Stef Borella were informed that we were undertaking a canvassing exercise, a proper consultation, with all the residents that would be affected and you were made aware that this would take a little time. I presume you did not bother to communicate that information to the Cabinet Member? We would ask that the Council consider being a little less inflexible as required to suit circumstances, rather than to suit themselves and so as to achieve the best and most desirable result as agreed by the people that actually live here. After all, it should be important to get it right and keep people happy, should it not? That should be the ultimate objective and yet once again the Council have got it wrong. Something is rotten at present because the Council, in our opinion, consistently get it wrong, and here we go again. This is just another example. Nevertheless, regardless of the Council's inflexibility, the Council were made very aware, in the initial correspondence sent to you right in the beginning, before the deadline came to pass, as to the general feeling of the residents that live here and you were informed then that the majority of people here would definitely NOT BE IN FAVOUR of the scheme. What happened to that information and why was it not taken into account? Or was it just completely ignored? Also, why is our local Councillor completely in the dark and not privy to this information, apparently being under the impression that there were no objections to the scheme? Considering he's the one that purportedly started all of this he is a bit out of touch and certainly not in the loop! Most people are now of the opinion that Bexley Council were going to implement this scheme regardless of our feelings and think that this is just another exercise to enable the Council to make more money out of the parking difficulties people face, which Bexley Council deliberately create. Bexley Council are corrupt and that is becoming more and more apparent!

I find it rather distasteful that the Council bully people the way they do. The Council seem to want to follow in the footsteps of those in this world that just like to walk all over others without consideration. Those that are responsible, to one degree or another, for suffering, exploitation, war and terrorism. That is not a facet that I, or many others, like to see exhibited by our very own local authority, who I may remind you are paid by the people to work on behalf of the people, preferably to do the right thing by the people. Patently this is not happening at present and that needs to change. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to feel proud of our local authority and know that they do a fantastic job for the people they serve? Yes, it would! I would also like to remind you that in a democracy the general idea is that the majority vote is supposed to prevail and that majority vote should not be overruled by an undemocratic individual from afar, in this case the mysterious and faceless Cabinet Member. That behaviour is not indicative of a democracy, that is a dictatorship, in this case backed up by thugs and bullies. That too needs to change! Yes, disappointed we are! In fact we are consistently disappointed with the Council's attitude and behaviour in issues that adversely affect us and it is becoming more and more apparent that Bexley Council have agendas that they do not own up to and that do not fit in with what we expect of our local authority! As this decision is undemocratic, unjust, anti-social, immoral, and simply wrong, to say nothing of the aggravation and upset it will cause, we would like to appeal against it. Would you please therefore be so kind as to advise me of the procedure for such an appeal? Thank you.

Regards,
D.J. Tarrant


Reply from Bexley Council

20/04/15

Dear Mr Tarrant

Thank you for your email below the comments of which have been noted.

The Cabinet Member is Councillor Donald Massey and he can be contacted via email at the following address:
Councillor.Donald.Massey@bexley.gov.uk

I have also attached the link to the cabinet report:
http://democracy.bexley.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=2446

The report covers the proposals, reviews comments and objections and provides a recommendation on a way to proceed. You will see that following consultation that the proposals for some locations were revised, contrary to your comments regarding the Council listening to public opinion. In addition, I add that the consultation period was not closed on the 11th February as per the letter sent to residents and the dated on the public and press notices issued. Comments and objections received after this deadline were still included in the report that was considered by the Cabinet Member however, your communication was received on 31st March which is almost 7 weeks after the consultation deadline by which point the report had already been sent to the Cabinet Member for consideration. The report considered many locations and it simply would not have been practical to delay consideration of the report which has road safety implications for many other locations, indefinitely until your communication was received.

Regrettably, there is no process for appeal regarding this decision. The Council has been through the statutory legal requirements for the introduction of the restrictions and a decision has been made by the Cabinet Member.

I am sorry that I could not provide a more positive response.

Regards
Vinny Rey
Traffic Engineer
Traffic Services


Further email to Bexley Council

27/04/15

Dear Mr Rey,

Thank you for your reply. However, it is worth noting that you are talking about statutory requirements. I'm talking about democracy. You're talking about deadlines, I'm talking about public satisfaction. You're talking about spending money, I'm talking about saving money. You're talking about upsetting people, I'm talking about keeping them happy. I think Bexley Council have a lot to learn about doing the right thing by people and about how to adequately serve the community. You may as well stick a swastika on your arm! I have made it clear to you that this is not what we want and that it will make life more difficult for us. We live here and you don't! There is no justification for wasting public money on something that is against the majority public view and that will yield no improvement. Especially when public money is in such short supply. I am surprised you cannot understand that. There is obviously still time to amend this decision and save some money and if you are saying that there isn't, there is something very wrong! The important thing is to get it right so please let Mr Massey know that the vast majority of residents here are unhappy with the decision and that the decision is contrary to the majority public requirement, and then he can reverse it. Simple. Let's not overcomplicate things and be pedantic and picky about dates and time scales. As I said, the important thing to get the right result. Surely you can see that? We have done without waiting restrictions in all this time with no real problem. It would be better therefore not to upset the residents and save the money! If you are that worried about sightlines, give us a mirror, as residents requested. People would be happy with that, or alternatively do nothing at all!

I would greatly appreciate it if you did not use the late submission of our poll survey as some kind of justification for ignoring us. I apologise for the fact that the poll data took a while to get together, this was because some residents were very slow to respond. Some residents in fact have still not responded, however, most did respond and the time scale doesn't detract from the validity of what it shows. However, regardless of the poll, you were in receipt of formal objections from the few residents you did consult before your cut off date on 11th February. The submission of the poll data, although taking time to organise, was a courtesy to you, and was simply to corroborate the content of the initial correspondence and the telephone calls you received, which had already given you a full indication of our objections to the scheme. I also made it very clear in my own submission that I had already asked some of the other residents here and the general consensus was that we did not want this scheme, did not feel it was necessary, felt it would be waste of taxpayers' money, and felt that it would not improve life for us, but make things worse. What happened to that information and why hasn't it been acknowledged and acted upon? Is it because you DO NOT LISTEN TO US? As I say, Bexley Council should change its motto to something like WALKING ALL OVER PEOPLE - REGARDLESS. Perhaps you should talk to Linda Jackson. She will know exactly what I mean.

From the few residents you did bother to consult directly, you received both email and hard copy objections, as well as telephone objections all within your deadline. Had you bothered to properly consult all the residents no doubt you would have received more objections. You didn't bother, we did. You weren't interested in bothering, we were, and of course you weren't interested in allocating the time to bother. Unlike Bexley Council, we felt it was important to make the effort to ask all the residents affected and as a courtesy to you, to back up the original correspondence and phone calls, we forwarded those results to you. They have nothing to do with the initial consultation because those people were not initially consulted by you and were therefore not privy to, or included in, the initial consultation or the timescale allocated. Please do not go on about the rather inconspicuous piece of paper wrapped around the post outside as if that somehow lets you off the hook. As far as we are concerned it is not good enough! Regardless of whether you think it is or not. It is not! As I say, most people are completely oblivious to it. You were made aware that we were undertaking a canvassing exercise and doing a proper consultation, thereby saving you the trouble, the least you could do is have the courtesy to await the results. But, whether you do or not, those results only BACKUP what we said to you right in the beginning with the original objections. Objections which you have completely ignored. That, we feel, is simply not good enough!

I would add that if you think my comments about Bexley Council not listening are inaccurate, this is your chance to prove it. But let me tell you, I have been corresponding with Bexley Council for many years about many things. I have also been to meetings and I have not once known the Council to take on board anything that we have had to say, regardless of its validity. Bexley Council have proved far too arrogant for our own good. We put justification and superior argument on the table and Bexley Council dismiss it with nonsense and schoolboy excuses, not befitting of a local authority. Bexley Council exhibit poor understanding, poor public relations and poor consideration of today's needs in traffic management, logistic and facility management, as well as public feeling. The Council waste a lot of public money on things we don't want, which actually don't improve life, and take away things we do want. Funnily enough another one such recent example being the Danson Festival, which was also down to Mr Massey as I understand it. That has also upset a lot of people and is, likewise, against the majority public will. Something is not right with our local authority at present and, on behalf of the people footing the bill, the Council do not currently do a good enough job in many areas. If they did REALLY start listening to the people, the Council could improve considerably. Remember you are supposed to be serving us. Not the other way around!

Can you please forward me the information as to how much this particular scheme for Plantation Road is going to cost and also how much the other schemes mentioned on your piece of paper are costing in total?
Thank you.

Regards,
D.J. Tarrant


Reply from Bexley Council

Dear Mr Tarrant

Thank you for your email below the comments of which have been noted.

As explained to you in previous communication the decision cannot be reversed. I have provided you with the Cabinet Members details should wish to discuss the decision with him. I have explained to you the consultation process and how this is undertaken, with the directly affected properties receiving written communication and street notices and public notices issued to further inform members of the general public. The issuing of street and public notices are the statutory requirements placed on a highway authority. This process is applied at every other location where restrictions are proposed. In addition, I have given you details of where the report can be found which details the decision and recommendation in light of the comments / objections received. Therefore, I do not feel that I am able to add anything further regarding the decision.

With regards to the cost of the approved restrictions for Plantation Road at the junction with Slade Green Road, the cost is approximately £120. The overall scheme cost for all the locations progressed as part of the latest bi-annual review process was approximately £5750. This cost includes the cost of the legal Traffic Management Order, line marking and any signs and posts that are required. Proposals for 26 locations have been agreed and are currently being implemented.

I trust this information is of use.

Regards
Vinny Rey
Traffic Engineer
Traffic Services


Further email to Bexley Council

Dear Mr Rey,

Thank you for your reply. Yes, I would like to take this issue up with the Cabinet Member, and will be writing to him shortly, as all the points we have made obviously still stand as far as we are concerned.

Thank you for providing the information we requested. Public expenditure on things the public don't want is a major issue for us. Especially when it makes life worse, as I'm sure you can understand.

At £120.00 for Plantation Road, the financial cost doesn't seem to be particularly high, however, the cost to the residents here is going to be significant.

We are in the process of taking legal advice, because we are not sure that the Council are currently operating within the law, but will keep you informed.

Many thanks and regards,
Regards,
D.J. Tarrant


Email to Counsellor Donald Massey, the Cabinet Member

Email to Counsellor Massey

Dear Mr Massey,

I am writing to ask, on behalf of the residents here, that the decision to implement anytime waiting restrictions in the form of double yellow lines in Plantation Road jw Slade Green Road, be reversed. The majority of people that live here are not in favour of this proposed scheme as additional parking restrictions in this location would make life even more difficult for residents. I have made Mr Rey of the Traffic Services Department fully aware of the situation and our feelings on the matter, however, he says he not in a position to do any more than pass on the information, which I hope he has done. If he has, you will be aware that we have done a paper poll amongst residents, the current figures of which show that 89% of residents are not in favour of this scheme. The great majority of residents feel there are no problems significant enough to warrant this kind of action, especially given the disadvantages associated with the scheme. We would therefore greatly appreciate your cooperation in this matter. Thank you.

Yours faithfully,
D.J. Tarrant


Reply from Counsellor Massey

Mr Tarrant

Thank you for your e-mail concerning the decision by myself to implement anytime waiting restrictions in the form of double yellow lines in Plantation Road at the junction with Slade Green Road. The original request to look at this location was following concerns raised by one of your local Ward Councillors (Cllr Borella) about inconsiderate parking close to the junction. As advised to you previously by Mr Rey, after looking into the matter, officers and I felt that these restrictions would contribute to improving road safety as parked vehicles at the location were observed to restrict visibility and sightlines for motorists wishing to exit Plantation Road. The decision has been made based on the Council’s continuing commitment to improving road safety.

Also as explained previously, there are laid down procedures for undertaking these types of decisions which have to be followed, including a public consultation process. As a consequence the decision cannot just be reversed. I appreciate that you and a number of other residents have now raised concerns, but unfortunately you did not make your submission until well after the consultation process had been concluded.

Going forward a review can be carried out as to how effective the measures have been. Consequently I suggest that after say six/nine months officers check to see how effective they have been in case any changes are required. In respect of this I have coped in Cllr Borella in on this reply so he can liaise with local residents, including yourself, on this and feedback to officers accordingly.

Kind regards

Cllr Don Massey
Cabinet Member for Environment & Public Realm


Further email to Counsellor Massey

Dear Mr Massey,

Thank you for your reply to my email. As far as I understand it, Mr Rey wrote to just four households, out of a potential 38 affected by this scheme. I have pointed out to Mr Rey that, in our opinion, this was wholly inadequate and also inconsiderate of the other residents who live here, as obviously this scheme would affect everybody. He justified this to himself by saying that what he had done was the minimum requirement and he appeared to be satisfied with that. However, as far as we are concerned, and as I pointed out to him, we do not feel this is good enough as we feel all residents affected should be properly consulted. After all, we are the ones that actually live here and have to put up with it. Of the households that he did write to, the objections to this scheme were unanimous. We all felt that it was unnecessary and that it would not improve our quality of life, but make it worse. We felt therefore that the Council should save the money and spend it something more agreeable. I can only assume that Mr Rey held back that information from you and also did not relay the content of the phone calls he received either, which were also objecting to the scheme. In fact, Stef Borella wrote to me to say that this scheme was to go ahead because there were no objections. How can this be? The original letter that I submitted to Mr Rey stated that we all objected and I had already canvassed a number of the other residents personally and the feeling was unanimous. We did not want this scheme, did not feel it was necessary and felt it would not improve life but make it worse. Can you tell me please, did Mr Rey actually bother to submit the content of correspondence and the telephone calls, all of which he received before the deadline came to pass, detailing the objections of the residents? Because at the moment, it doesn't look like he did! Or if he did, were the objections simply ignored? Can you also please tell me why no consideration was given to the residents' preference for a convex mirror, which the greater majority, by far, were much more in favour of? With regard to the paper poll that I conducted, this was simply to back up and give testimony to the content of the original correspondence, which was forwarded to Mr Rey before his deadline. Therefore, you should have been fully aware of the facts, the objections, and the suggestion for the much more agreeable solution of a convex mirror on the lamppost opposite, all within your timeframe.

As a rule we do object to Bexley Council spending public money on things that we feel are unnecessary and especially things that make life more difficult. We have had no road safety issues, except for one elderly gentleman, who lives in Plantation Road (the man whose wife complained to Stef Borella), who had a minor accident two years ago on that junction. I cannot comment as to whose fault it was, but somebody obviously wasn't paying enough attention, or driving carefully enough. As we know, that can happen anywhere at anytime and we do not feel that one such age old instance, possibly down to a momentary lapse, or someone not looking where they are going, is sufficient justification for this scheme and the inconvenience it will cause. I would like to point out that we are very sore about the Council's attitude to certain other issues we have had to contend with over the years. I personally am a great believer in fair play and I personally do not like any element of inconsideration or injustice. Contrary to the Council's own motto, we do not find the Council listen to us sufficiently, and that has been duly noted on a number of occasions over the years. If Bexley Council did really start to listen to the people it was supposed to be serving, I think we would all be a lot happier and be able to go about our business with a lot less trouble. I look forward to your reply as I would like to know what happened to all the information detailing our objections and suggestions that I, and other residents, provided to Mr Rey. Thank you.

Yours faithfully,
D.J. Tarrant


Reply from Counsellor Massey

13 May 2015

Mr Tarrant

As I have advised you before the consultation was carried out in accordance with the council standard procedures. You did not make representations in time in the proscribed manner, it is not possible to just stop the process as you want.

Mr Rey has spoken to you on several occasions concerning the whole process and in respect of other points you have raised. As stated in my previous e-mail the restrictions can be reviewed once the measures have had a chance to bed down.

Cllr Don Massey
Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Realm


Further email to Counsellor Massey

Dear Mr Massey,

Thank you for your reply. However, as I tried to explain in my previous email, that is exactly the point. We did make representations in the prescribed manner, as advised by Mr Rey, within the allocated time. Is it possible you can you tell me what happened to them please?

Also, would you please be so kind as to explain to me why it is a decision cannot be reversed? Especially if you are now in receipt of new information. Surely if one man has made the decision, one man can reverse the decision, can he not?

As a point of interest, the paper poll that we conducted, the results of which, as you rightly point out, were not submitted until after the decision had been made, only backs up the representations that were already in the Council's possession.

Yours faithfully,
D.J. Tarrant


Reply from Counsellor Massey

Mr Tarrant

I must reiterate my previous e-mail. The measures were considered following a suggestion from Cllr Borella's after representations to him. You did not make written representations within the time limit for the Public consultation, and the decision cannot be reversed because you and others do not like it. The council has followed both its laid down procedures and other statutory measures.

Once the restrictions have been in place for a few months they can be reviewed if problems have been identified.

Regards

Cllr Don Massey
Cabinet Member for Finance & Corporate Services


Email from Counsellor Stef Borella

Dear Mr. Tarrant,

Thanks for your recent conversations and comments regarding the waiting time restrictions in Plantation Road/ Slade Green Road.

I appreciate you are not happy with the result, but there were some residents in favour of these restrictions, officers can be requestyed to review this scheme after 6-9 months to see if there are any other problems from this restrictions.

I am happy to come and see personally to discuss this further.

Regards

Stef


Despite the Council's position as outlined in the above correspondence, it is patently clear that representations were made to Bexley Council and within the Council's timeframe. The Council were also made very aware of the majority public view, results from our suvey, well before the scheme was implemented and in plenty of time to reverse the decision. Something, for some undisclosed reason, they felt unable to do!


Dear Mr Massey,

Thank you for your further reply. I can only conclude from what you are saying that something has broken down with the Council's process. As I have previously stated, we did follow instructions from, and made our representations to, Mr Rey, both by telephone and in writing, as advised by him, within the allocated timeframe. We were of the understanding that he was the officer dealing with this matter on behalf of the Council and he personally gave us his assurances that he would forward our representations to you. I can only assume that, for whatever reason, he did not do this. However, I do note, that despite my repeated asking, you have not been able to throw any light on what happened to our representations. You say you did not receive them, but we still don't know why. Did Mr Rey not honour his word or do his job properly perhaps?

The measures have been implemented now and most residents are of the opinion that the Council was not really interested in our views. From the evidence we have seen so far, in this and some other issues we have had dealings with in the past, we have seen no real evidence to indicate otherwise. It does appear that the Council does what it thinks is best rather than what the people think is best, and consequently, in our opinion, for us, gets it wrong. The Council has had plenty of time to consider the views of the people that live here and, in a familiar fashion, regardless of the timeframe, has declined to do so. We feel this shows a general disrespect for the people as the Council has taken a situation and spent public money, against the majority preference, on making matters worse for those of us that actually do live here. A decision taken by someone from afar that doesn't have to contend with the outcome of that decision. As I have pointed out to Mr Rey, that is the sort of attitude responsible for many of the world's ills, and we feel that it is a shame that it is prevalent in our very own local authority.

With regard to the Council's current procedures, it does appear, as I'm sure you would have to agree based on these proceedings, breakdown or not, that there is no real democracy, no local autonomy and not enough consideration for the wishes of the residents that actually live here and foot the bill, as we are the ones that pay the ultimate price of any such mismanagement. The loss of our representations may have been accidental, it may have been deliberate, but the Council cannot say it was unaware of the feelings of those who live here and those feelings, whatever way you look at it and whatever reasons or excuses the Council may offer, have ultimately been ignored. We do not accept that a reversal of this decision could not have been made in the light of new evidence either. That would imply that the Council are incapable of flexibility or re-evaluating. It appears to be more a case of won't rather than can't, and again, no valid reason has been offered to back up the Council's position on this issue. Explanations as to why are always good if you want people to understand your position. We have had no such explanations with regard to what happened to our representations, or as to why a decision cannot be reversed, especially when it is in the light of further evidence.

With regard to giving the measures time to bed in so as to be able to reassess the situation, for the vast majority of residents here there was no real problem to begin with. There is therefore nothing to reassess, apart from, as already pointed out, there are now more difficulties for residents as a result of the additional parking restrictions. My neighbour's vehicle has already been reversed into and hit twice since he has had to park it further down the road and residents are falling out over parking arrangements. I guess that this will not worry those people responsible for the implementation of these measures, because they don't actually live here. I think we all look forward to the day when we can have some say in practical and managerial matters affecting own road rather than being told, against our wishes and against the grain of common sense, that this is how it's going to be. This is the third such issue in Plantation Road alone, and they all follow exactly the same pattern and have all resulted in a retrogressive outcome, contrary to the majority preference of the people that live in the road. That is nothing to be proud of. Bexley Council has not listened to us, but instead has made all sorts of excuses and simply done what it wanted to, regardless. I will keep you informed of any further relevant information. Thank you for your time in responding to my communications.

Yours faithfully,
Mr DJ Tarrant


Email from Counsellor Stef Borella

Dear Mr. Tarrant,

Thanks for your recent conversations and comments regarding the waiting time restrictions in Plantation Road/ Slade Green Road.

I appreciate you are not happy with the result, but there were some residents in favour of these restrictions, officers can be requestyed to review this scheme after 6-9 months to see if there are any other problems from this restrictions.

I am happy to come and see personally to discuss this further.

Regards

Stef


Dear Stef,

Thank you for your email. I have drafted a concluding email for Mr Massey, of which I will forward a copy to you also. This is the third such issue we have had in Plantation Road where the greater majority public viewpoint has been ultimately ignored by the Council. Yet more evidence, as far as the people are concerned, that the current political system falls flat on its face in crucial routine management areas. You may not remember but when we first met and chatted at my front door, I said to you that I did not believe in the current political system and thought that, for various reasons, it was a waste of time. Issues such as this go to underline the fact that there is currently no real democracy in this country, even in a small back street, as even in our own road we cannot have what the majority wanted and what the majority feel is practical on all three issues. Some of the things that Bexley Council have effected in Plantation Road alone, have actually defied common sense. This does not put the Council in a good light and when we try and point these things out, all we get are nonsense excuses and reasons as to why the Council is right and we are wrong. However, for us it is the other way around. We are right and the Council is wrong. After all, the Council members responsible for the implementation of such schemes and policies do not live here. We do. Therefore, we feel they should give more consideration to our views and feelings. There are a number of reasons as to why I and many others feel it is time for a change, especially now we have the technology. No one man or woman should be able to rule and enforce wrong over right in the lands of others against the majority democratic view and that is something that we would like to see change in this world! Perhaps we could start with Bexley Council in Plantation Road.

For the record, out of a possible 38 households affected in Plantation Road and Slade Green Road, we know of only that two were in favour of this scheme. For all those against, there are no real positives and certainly not enough to outweigh the negatives that come with it. In fact, the new measures have already caused problems with one vehicle being damaged and neighbours falling out with each other over parking arrangements. Not very clever management for people who are supposed to know what they are doing. I often find that listening is better than talking when you are looking for the best options and solutions, especially as doing the right thing by the people is seen by most as the difference between good management and unhelpful interference.

Yes, by all means it would be good to discuss some of the points raised, with this and the other issues, at some point.

Best wishes,
Taz