Statement from the Leader on the Council on the Ombudsman’s final decision around the Low Traffic Neighbourhood programme in Hounslow.
Published: Monday, 11th October 2021
The Leader of Hounslow Council, Cllr Steve Curran, has called on a local lobby group opposed to the Council's Low Traffic Neighbourhood programme, Streetspace, to "Grow up, move on and stop misrepresenting the facts."
The move comes after the One Chiswick group misrepresented a Local Government Ombudsman report, claiming it was highly critical of restrictions imposed by Hounslow Council.
The LGO report makes clear that concerns were with record keeping, not the decision to close roads to through traffic. The report finds 'the Council’s Streetscape policy provided a sensible framework at short notice for how it would identify and implement schemes designed to achieve the Government’s objectives' and that as, "Government expected councils to actively look for opportunities to make changes to roads that might influence a change in road-use habits' there was, 'no fault therefore in the use of a tool... actively seeking out such schemes.”
Cllr Curran said: "Some people need to start to grow up. While the national and international news concerns itself with the very real crisis in the global climate, and we see the very real impacts of climate crisis all around us, including the appalling flooding recently in London, for some to be still tilting at windmills in this way is becoming embarrassing.
"Hounslow Council is preparing to lead for London Councils as part of the UK Climate Crisis Investment Commission at COP26 in Glasgow. We have a significant range of activities planned locally and regionally. We are being recognised nationally for our leadership on Green issues, and - on the very subject of LTNs - Councillor Khan, the lead Cabinet member, has been personally invited to Downing Street to be thanked by the Prime Minister and Transport Secretary for the work we have done here.
"The Streetspace programme is all but concluded, after one of the biggest listening exercises we have ever undertaken, with over 10,000 people involved. Streetspace has a significant part to play in securing an improved environment, reducing traffic and air pollution levels, increasing cycling and walking and supporting wider climate change objectives which we share with London’s Mayor, the UK Government and internationally. That this hardcore rump feels it has to misrepresent a report in this way makes them look as desperate as they are irrelevant to the fight to secure the planet's future.
It's time for them grow up, move on and stop misrepresenting the facts."
Hounslow’s Streetspace Programme was developed in response to the challenges and opportunities created by the Covid-19 pandemic and follows statutory government guidance and the Mayor of London’s Streetspace plan.
Those aimed to:
- Enable social distancing for those using shops and services, and those travelling around the borough on foot or by bike
- Create safer and more attractive spaces for walking and cycling (known as ‘active travel’ modes)
- Reduce congestion and air pollution from vehicular traffic given decline in public transport use
- Reduce through traffic on residential roads, to prevent ‘rat-running'
The UK Cities Climate Investment Commission has been jointly established by the UK Core Cities, London Councils and the Connected Places Catapult to address head-on the investment case for Net Zero. The Commission seeks to create robust business cases and investment models that address issues of scale, longevity and confidence and leverage the combined scale of cities to mobilise finance and drive investment into low and Net Zero carbon projects across the UK’s largest cities.