At the council: July & August 2020

An aide memoire of items I’ve noted from the boroughs where I work, rest and play, in case it is of use to others. Lots of council meetings were cancelled in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s a link backwards to May and June 2020 if you’re short of stuff to read.

August 2020

August is always a quiet month.

Government / Department for Transport

London Assembly / Mayor of London

Merton Council

Metropolitan Police – Freedom of Information Requests

Richmond Council

Royal Parks

Transport for London

Transport for London – Freedom of Information requests

Wandsworth Council

Westminster Council

July 2020

City of London

Croydon Council

Government / Department for Transport / Professional bodies e.g. Sustrans

Hammersmith & Fulham

Kensington & Chelsea

  • Decision re Covid-transport, opened 22 May, not before 22 Junenot before 15 July, and published 17 July with decision paper and document listing a limited number of interventions – some school streets, widened pavements and a few wand segregated cycle lanes, the most useful of which being Kensington High Street between the LBHF and WCC boundaries. RBKC is funding the 20mph rollout across the borough from its own (capital? CIL?) funds.
  • Decision re TfL’s Holland Park cycle route scheme – opened October 2019, kicked backwards another month to not before 20 Febnot before 18 Marchnot before 23 Aprilnot before 21 Maynot before 17 Junenot before 15 July … not before 1 September.
  • Decision scheduled for lamp post EV charging points, opened 24 April, not before 26 Maynot before 3 Junenot before 8 July … not before 30 July.
  • Decision scheduled to review streetscape, opened 1 May, not before 5 Junenot before 8 July … not before 10 August.
  • Decision re CO2 based parking permits, bouncing since Sept 2019, not before 15 July … not before 1 Sept.
  • 1 June, Scrutiny Ctte, has a Covid-impact paper summarising financial impact (council forecasts £44m gross overspend, in part due to £14m loss of car parking revenues), but little info on next steps.
  • 6 July, Enviro Ctte, is hardly worth bothering with. The transport report contains just 3 terse paragraphs on the borough’s post-Covid transport proposals, lacking any of the substantive detail provided by other London councils. (The cllr responsible for transport confirmed the council had ditched the proposal for a – singular – low traffic neighbourhood in late June).  The update on climate change and air quality largely restates the strategy with no report on progress.  For contrast, see the equivalent papers to Hammersmith & Fulham’s 6 July Cabinet, linked above.
  • 15 July, Leadership, has papers with the 2019/20 financial outturn and a 2020/21 period 2 finance report with a full-year forecast. The P2 paper is grim: the council is forecasting a net £27m overspend with higher costs and lower revenue due to the pandemic – the biggest items being £13m loss of parking revenue, and big drops so far in council tax (down £9m) and business rate receipts (£6m). Like Westminster Council, RBKC is very dependent on parking revenues, planning fees and developers’ infrastructure levies, and these highly variable receipts will be under-budget for some time to come.

Kingston Council

Lambeth Council

London Assembly / Mayor of London

Merton Council

  • 2 July, draft traffic orders for 20mph zones in “parkside” (loosely, west of Wimbledon Station down to Raynes Park and up to Wimbledon Common), statutory consultation closing 24 July. And should complete 20mph across the borough.
  • 7 July, experimental traffic order for London Road, south of Mitcham’s cricket green. Plan is to extend the northbound bus lane further back to start nearer the Morden Road (tram track bridge) junction, and to install a 24 hour mandatory cycle lane southbound. Alas, the actual installation fails to fulfil the promise – the southbound cycle lane is only advisory, the yellow line removed (preventing parking enforcement) and filled with parked cars.  Waste of paint.
  • 13 July, Cabinet, has finance outturn papers for 2019/20. Jumping to appendix 2 (page 43, I’m good at this), I see the council spent £580,000 on quietway cycle routes, £65k of residential street cycling improvements, and £6k on cycle parking.  Nope, I’ve no idea either.  Beddington Lane’s shared-use pavement is separate item, so this could be Merton’s tiny bit of cycleway C31 (led by Kingston Council in 2018/19) landing in the following year’s books.  Pages 44 onwards have revised capital programme spend for 2020/21 onwards.  Separately, the P2 April & May finance report addresses the impact of the Covid pandemic, with the council forecasting an adverse variance of £25m.  Cabinet paper also recommends adoption of the borough’s climate change strategy.
  • 15 July, Scrutiny, looks at public space protection orders (PSPOs) for public drinking, and a look back at scrutiny work in 2019/20.

Richmond Council

Surrey County Council

Suffolk County Council

  • A really good janet-and-john guide to post-Covid transport changes, explaining the types of interventions (widened pavements, modal filters etc), why they’re needed, and where they will be installed. This quality of planning & communication resulted in Suffolk receiving more from the DfT during June 2020 than it requested.

Sutton Council

Transport for London

Transport for London – Freedom of Information requests

Wandsworth Council

Westminster Council

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