Residents in Hackbridge have accused the new Conservative MP for Carshalton & Wallington of backtracking over a controversial parking survey he sent to residents in new developments in the area.
The survey asked residents of New Mill Quarter: “Would you like New Mill Quarter to be included in the proposed Hackbridge Permit Parking Area?” This follows the introduction of a residents-only parking scheme in Hackbridge, which has been hugely popular among residents, many of whom had been campaigning for this for many years.
The MP’s comments did not go unnoticed. Hackbridge residents took him to task on social media, complaining of generic email responses from his office, of his survey being "unnecessarily divisive", that his office were "backtracking" and that he "didn't do [his] research properly". He has now performed a U-turn, saying that he doesn’t support what he was asking for in his survey.
Ben Andrew, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Wandle Valley & Hackbridge said:
"I have worked alongside my fellow ward councillors and local residents for months in order to get this parking scheme right. Many residents are happy with the scheme as it has freed up space for them to park outside of their homes. Lib Dem-run Sutton Council acted to protect resident parking due to excessive commuter parking near the station and new developments being built locally. Since the scheme started, I've received the following comments from residents:
"It is absolute bliss"
“We welcome residents of New Mill Quarter to our community, and look forward to working with them on feasible solutions to parking problems they may have. But allowing residents in a large private development to buy a permit to park on surrounding streets is clearly not the answer, especially when the development has its own parking spaces which other residents can’t use.”
"Our new Conservative MP doesn't appreciate the history of the parking problems in our area. It seems like he is just telling different groups of residents whatever they want to hear, even if these assurances contradict each other. I hope his interventions will be better thought through in future, as parking has long been one of the biggest concerns for residents in Hackbridge.”