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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee rooms D & E - Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden SM4 5DX. View directions

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies were received from Councillor Oonagh Moulton (substituted by Councillor Najeeb Latif) and Councillor David Williams (substituted by Councillor Michael Bull).


Declarations of pecuniary interest


There were no declarations of pecuniary interest.


Call-in of the introduction of a diesel surcharge for all types of resident and business parking permits pdf icon PDF 57 KB

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The Chair drew the Commission’s attention to a topic suggestion received from a resident this week asking it to scrutinise lowering the cost of resident parking permits for low energy cars. He said that this would be dealt with partly through this meeting and also by the work of the air quality task group.


The Chair invited Councillors David Simpson and Daniel Holden to explain why they had requested a call-in on the introduction of a diesel surcharge for parking permits.


Councillor David Simpson said that he was in favour of measures to improve air quality but that this should be done at a regional or national level. His view was that the surcharge is a piecemeal measure that has been used as an  opportunity to raise revenue for the council. He said that the impact of the surcharge would be felt predominantly in the west of the borough as that is where the majority of controlled parking zones are located and that this was therefore a punitive and tokenistic measure.


Councillor Daniel Holden added that the discussion at the Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel had not reached a consensus on introducing the levy this year – he drew members’ attention to the letter submitted by Councillor John Sargeant ( page 111 of the agenda). Panel members had advised a lead-in time for the levy to give residents a chance to prepare. He said that immediate implementation was unfair and that the charge was too high.


Councillor Daniel Holden asked Cabinet to reconsider its decisions and to introduce other measures in partnership with the GLA and in response to recommendations that would be made by the air quality task group. He also drew members’ attention to recommendations made by the RAC (document laid round at meeting and published with the minutes) and the Alliance of British Drivers (page 113 of the agenda) on other measures that could be taken such as clean air zones, anti-idling measures and action to improve traffic flow.


Councillors David Simpson and Daniel Holden made further points in response to questions:

·         Vast majority of hotspots are caused by vehicles from outside the borough

·         Although the level of pollutants from vehicle emissions is certainly higher than that indicated by manufacturers’ tests, modern cars have lower levels of emissions

·         Air quality is affected by lots of factors across London and can’t be controlled by local measures taken in isolation

·         A surcharge should be imposed at London or national level for all diesel vehicles


The Chair invited Venn Chesterton, ULEV and Energy Lead from TTR, to address the meeting. Venn Chesterton said that TTR had carried out extensive research on air quality across the country and has worked with TfL and the GLA on the introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone. He said that there were many measures that would have an impact on air quality and that the surcharge was an opportunity for Merton Council to have a positive impact. He said that research showed that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.