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Agenda and draft minutes

Contact: Consultation and Community Engagement Team 

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome and Introductions

Minutes:

The meeting was held via Zoom, and chaired by Councillor James Holmes. Seven residents and nine councillors attended on Zoom with 61 additional views on YouTube. The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained how the meeting would work.

2.

Emissions Based Parking Charges pdf icon PDF 852 KB

Ben Stephens, Head of Parking Services

Minutes:

Chris Lee, Director of Environment and Regeneration introduced the item and explained why Merton is consulting on changes to charges and why now. Introducing emissions based charging was always planned, but in the last consultation the proposed changes did not include emissions as the technology to deliver it was not available.

 

Covid-19 has meant that public transport not available so during the lockdown we saw a move nationally to encourage much more active travel. In outer London car use now at 150% of previous levels so this is an issue that still needs addressing. We have delayed this consultation due to lock down, as the proposal was originally agreed to go out to consultation in the spring.

 

The proposed approach builds on the previous consultation. We do not have control over vehicles passing through the borough so we know the proposals do not take into account movement of vehicles. However, it is important to take a proportionate approach to the tools we have  

 

Ben Stephens, Head of Parking Services gave a presentation on the details of the proposals and the presentation is attached to this report. Ben explained that more than half of London boroughs either have or are introducing some form of emissions based charging. It is proposed that a supplementary charge based on the approach in the London ULEZ scheme will replace the current diesel levy. The consultation will remain open until 23 October 2020.

FOLLOWING THE MEETING: the consultation was extended to 26 October.

 

A resident asked when this new system would come into effect. Ben said a decision would be taken by Cabinet later in autumn / early 2021 so nothing would be implemented until 2021. Ben also explained what modelling has been done, we know roughly what cars are owned in Merton but this is changing all the time so as a result we have not modelled the likely revenue impact. We do not know yet what impact the last round of changes has had on car owner’s behaviour. Any income from parking charges can only be spent on transport, so we would look to improve public transport and active travel. Largest cost to the Council is the Freedom pass, highways repairs, and administration of CPZs. If there is surplus active travel would be one of the priorities.

 

Residents can check their car by using Transport for London’s ULEZ checker, and emissions on the Government website. The Mayor of London has launched a car and motorcycle scrappage scheme to help low income and disabled Londoners scrap older, more polluting cars and motorcycles in favour of cleaner vehicles and greener forms of transport. We also expect use of public transport to return to normal once the pandemic has settled down.

 

Councillor Martin Whelton, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Housing and Transport, summed up the discussion. He said that Merton wants to improve air quality and make sure the scheme is fairer. The scheme will be a success if fewer people have cars on the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

3.

Open Forum

If you would like to raise an item under the open forum please email getinvolved@merton.gov.uk in advance of the meeting.

Minutes:

Sandra Ash from KOSSH raised concerns about Improving Health Together. Merton Council and Croydon Council have rejected this plans and asked the Secretary of State to intervene. There is a need for additional beds nationally and locally with COVID-19 social distancing requirements also restricting the number of available beds. 

 

Friends of Wimbledon Town Centre has asked in advance of the meeting about changes to planning rules. A report to Planning Applications Committee in August 2020

 

One end of Graham Road was closed at short notice to assist the developer of the hotel being built by allowing equipment and materials to be delivered. Chris Lee said the council has instructed the developer to review and remove the closure. Once the review has taken place, they will then inform residents with sufficient notice.

4.

Notices and Updates pdf icon PDF 277 KB

Minutes:

Kris Witherington gave a presentation updating the meeting on local issues including the COVID-19 Champions; COVID-19 response hub; consultations on the borough character study and South London Waste Plan; and the introduction of new school streets and low traffic neighbourhoods. The presentation is attached to this report.

 

5.

Date of next meeting

Future meetings all 7.15pm in Wimbledon Arts Space (subject to COVID-19 regulations):

Tuesday 1 December 2020

Thursday 25 March 2021

 

Minutes:

Councillor Holmes thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting.

 

The next meeting will take place on Tuesday 1 December 2020 at 7.15pm via Zoom.