Hopes of relief from parking problems in West Hove were dashed this afternoon (Wednesday 9 November).
Councillor Ian Davey was asked to order an urgent review of parking in Wish ward – as he has done with three other areas in Brighton.
Conservative councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn and Labour councillor Anne Pissaridou both made a passionate plea for the area around Wish Park to be treated as a special case.
Their plea followed a decision last month by Councillor Davey, the Green-led council’s cabinet member for transport and the public realm, to put changes in Wish on hold.
He authorised three small-scale urgent parking issues elsewhere to be dealt with while a citywide review of parking is conducted by Brighton and Hove City Council.
After listening to representations from the two Wish councillors, he also heard from other councillors, Labour group leader Gill Mitchell and Conservative spokesman Tony Janio.
Councillor Peltzer Dunn called for a rethink and said: “An urgent review of the Wish Park area is a special case.”
He said that residents there had previously rejected the idea of a controlled parking zone for their streets, unaware that residents to the east would vote in favour of one.
A scheme was brought in that has displaced an existing problem, shifting it further west.
He said that there was a danger that the citywide review and the time that it takes to design and implement a scheme would mean that a solution was years away.
Councillor Pissaridou asked him to remember his duty of care to them, given the road safety concerns around problem parking, and even asked whether the Human Rights Act might influence his decision.
Councillor Davey said: “I’m very aware of my duty of care to residents across the whole city and I’ve had emails from residents pleading to be included in a controlled parking zone.”
He said that the reviews that he approved last month were for schemes where there were clear boundaries and where designs were ready to implement subject to consultation.
Councillor Mitchell said: “The citywide review will not look in detail at the specific problems affecting people living in the Wish Park area.
“It will look at the general parking needs across the city.
“Your report blurred the two. It doesn’t make sense. There’s a real lack of clarity.”
Addressing the concerns of the ward councillors, she said: “Please don’t be under any illusion that the citywide parking review will help your case because it won’t.”
She said that a previous review had been suspended in 2010 because of the approaching elections, adding: “This work should never have been suspended. It should have been under way now. People want clarity.”
Councillor Janio said: “All residents in the city will have to wait up to three years before they see any improvements.
“Then we’ll be heading towards the next election and work will be put on hold because it’s politically sensitive.
“And then a year later we’ll be back in the same position.”
Councillor Davey said: “Everybody has a view about parking as I’ve found but unfortunately not everyone agrees.
“Parking schemes progress slowly – and not everyone wants to be in a controlled parking zone.
“There are many strong views on either side.
“What I have said previously is that I’m more than happy to work with officers and ward councillors for Wish – and that needs to be extended to South Portslade and Hangleton and Knoll – this goes beyond the immediate issues around the park … Wish councillors have made it clear to me that they are in favour of a scheme that goes right up to Boundary Road.
“I want coherent views to come forward under the citywide parking review.
“It could be that Wish is the first area that could be implemented after the citywide review – if a controlled parking zone is the option that is chosen.”
One of the council’s officials, Mark Prior, added: “It would be wrong to conclude that Wish would be top of the list – although it could be.”
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