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You can't get much more personal and vindictive than that message that was on Goose Green councillor James McAsh's jumper, and yet he claims that he only supports the LTNs in East Dulwich because they benefit everyone.


Don't you think it is a valid part of the discussion on LTNs and that it is on topic to discuss whether goose green councillors are really thinking about the impact of their actions on all of the residents of Goose Green?

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As per last post by Legal:


"(...) the Overview and Scrutiny Committee is interviewing Cllrs Rose and Burgess on their portfolios next week


[moderngov.southwark.gov.uk]


Might be worth asking some of the LD committee members to ask what plans there are to deal with air pollution on the so-called boundary roads etc - no opportunity for public questions at these committee meetings I don?t believe."



For those who would like to contact them, the three Lib Dem members of the committee are:


Victor Chamberlain: [email protected]


Humaira Ali: [email protected]


Maria Linforth-Hall: [email protected]

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Admin - surely that's a yellow not a straight red?


I think you could have warned people rather than locking the whole thread - it seems a bit knee-jerk but we appreciate you have been under pressure to lounge the thread so perhaps we should have self-policed a little more!

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Like everything, given the size of the Labour majority, there is an element of pointlessness. However, there is room for the opposition councillors to ask questions, and the committee receives evidence from third party experts on particular topics, which can be a useful source of info.
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The only eventual remedy may be either judicial review or reference to one of the bodies with oversight of Councils (such as the Public Accounts Committee). On that basis an audit trail of what the council says and does may still be of value, even if and when the council in question determines to ignore its own electors. So continuing to ask questions and seek evidence, even where this seems to be wasted effort as far as getting the council to rethink its position is concerned, may still have an eventual payback if used to challenge the council's overall actions in what might be seen as a 'higher' court.
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What does the Overview and Scrutiny committee do - I see a number of the members are actually the pro-LTN protagonists within the council so isn't a bit of a pointless exercise?


Scrutinise.

It's supposed to be cross-party / non-partisan, the aim of it is not to say "LTN's are brilliant" or "LTNs are terrible", in fact it's not really to comment on the POLICY at all; it's to scrutinise the council's handling of it, decisions made about it and so on.


https://www.southwark.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/how-we-work/scrutiny-committees

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Is that where this falls down then because there are so few cross-party members - it becomes partisan by virtue of there being so few opposition members?


The fact that Cllr Newens gets to sit as part of the committee reviewing how the council has handled the LTN deployments in her own ward seems utterly ludicrous. Does she recuse herself from matters involving LTNs?

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Rockets - I'm no expert on council meetings although I know the basic governance processes from working with / for councils but the whole point of a Scrutiny Committee is that the person / people responsible for that policy are there in the room to answer questions about it. This would apply for transport matters, housing developments, planning approval (councils often have a separate committee specifically for that actually), financial matters...


No good questioning the policy if the people responsible for it aren't in the room to be questioned. It's a good thing they're there, not a bad thing.


For example, if the Overview & Scrutiny Committee are going to look at the councils accounts, you want the Chief Finance Officer in the room to explain / justify / answer questions about it. No good them hiding in an office somewhere saying "as it's about my work, I can't be there". It's imperative that they are there!

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Penguin68 Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> The only eventual remedy may be either judicial

> review

You don't get judicial review of elected officials' decisions just because you think they're crap. You need to evidence some illegality, a decision that is so unreasonable that no reasonable person could ever make it etc. That is (deliberately) a high bar. https://www.ashtonslegal.co.uk/insights/business-news/a-quick-guide-to-judicial-review-planning-claims/


But feel free to invest your time and money in discovering that for yourself. I'd be happy to recommend some expensive barristers.

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I didn't suggest it would be easy - I did suggest that the only route to 'stop' a council once it ceases to listen to, or care about, its electors is to use the oversight remedies - which include judicial review. Yes, you are right, it is difficult and may be costly, which is why Private Eye can continue to run a fortnightly full page listing different councils' excesses. Which very rarely 'shames' a council into acting properly.


The point I was making, again, is that collecting evidence of the council's failures may still be worthwhile - otherwise the only option is to roll over on your back and play dead and let them do what they want - (which is what they want you to do). Save where there is a balance of electoral power (we don't have it) local 'democracy' is local autocracy - where the autocrats for us are the Labour apparat. (Other local autocracies will have different masters, of course).


Or are you advocating 'giving up'? I suppose if you dance to the council's tune you are, but if that, then you would be, wouldn't you?

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exdulwicher Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> Rockets - I'm no expert on council meetings

> although I know the basic governance processes

> from working with / for councils but the whole

> point of a Scrutiny Committee is that the person /

> people responsible for that policy are there in

> the room to answer questions about it. This would

> apply for transport matters, housing developments,

> planning approval (councils often have a separate

> committee specifically for that actually),

> financial matters...

>

> No good questioning the policy if the people

> responsible for it aren't in the room to be

> questioned. It's a good thing they're there, not a

> bad thing.

>

> For example, if the Overview & Scrutiny Committee

> are going to look at the councils accounts, you

> want the Chief Finance Officer in the room to

> explain / justify / answer questions about it. No

> good them hiding in an office somewhere saying "as

> it's about my work, I can't be there". It's

> imperative that they are there!



But Cllr Newens is part of the Scrutiny Committee no matter what they are scrutinising so that's what led me to question whether she recuses herself and is replaced by a reserve if she has a vested interested in the items being scrutinised.


I don't think she is invited because they are talking about LTNs, she is invited as she is one of the members of the Scrutiny committee.

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On judicial review - my understand is it's expensive and may be a fool's errand because the council can find another way of arriving at the same decision. If I were Southwark I'd be more worried on the human rights / health claims front. Might be worth watching Lewisham - home of Ella Kisi Debrah's family - for this.
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Yes I tend to agree kissthisguy. Problem with judicial review is that even if you're right about the process being flawed, the remedy is generally that the decision has to be made again, properly this time, and in the absence of extreme irrationality there's a high risk that the same conclusion will be reached. It's not the courts' job to interfere in the substance of decisions - they're not policy makers (or at least they're not supposed to be - we could have a whole new thread on judicial activism). Human rights etc is a different kettle of fish. Although even then, governments are given a fair bit of leeway in determining appropriate environmental policy and the case may come down to whether an appropriate process has been followed - see for example this case involving the re-routing of a Ukrainian motorway past someone's house


https://www.ecolex.org/details/court-decision/grimkovskaya-v-ukraine-ce1179ed-9c69-48f6-8440-792058a58069/.


HR cases addressing the effect on people with specific protected characteristics e.g. disability I would think have a greater prospect of success but are likely to result in modifications to schemes rather than a wholesale rethink.


Ultimately I think this comes down to politics. So for those opposed to the closures, the issue is probably largely about keeping the issue alive in people's minds until May.


disclaimer - although legally qualified I'm no expert in this area so these are just my personal thoughts.

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So for the thousands of people who objected to the LTNs in East Dulwich and were ignored by Southwark and dismissed by the East Dulwich Councillors, what option is there at the next election?


Will One Dulwich stand on a promise of removing the LTNs and starting again with a scheme that works? I would vote for them if they did.

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One Dulwich could stand in the DV/ GG seats, but even if they won them, the reality is that they wouldn't have sufficient power to do anything about the LTNs. The ward councillors don't control what happens in their wards. The way the system works means that the party with the majority has all the power. As with central government. So electing them would send a message to Labour locally/ "punish" existing councillors, but probably not enable a change in policy.


But even given that, I would favour having some independent ward councillors who could at least act as an "awkward squad" and better represent the variety of views held within the ward rather than follow the directions of the party whip. Easy for me to say that and expect some unknown people to step up and stand, of course.


Both LDs and the Greens favour the LTNs in principle, I believe. It will be interesting to hear what if anything they have to say in the build up to the elections.

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I think some tactical voting is needed to send a message to Tooley Street that they cannot ignore their constituents any longer. A handful of independents could start the revolution! It's clear Labour are abusing their continual almost one-party state rule and for the benefit of everyone there needs to be some tangible opposition.
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So for the thousands of people who objected to the LTNs in East Dulwich and were ignored by Southwark and dismissed by the East Dulwich Councillors, what option is there at the next election?


Well you could vote for someone other than Labour...?


Bottom line is that the democratically elected (Labour) council are putting in place a policy requested and funded by a democratically elected (Conservative) Government (we'll ignore for the moment more general thoughts about Government / Boris / FPTP voting / the true meaning of democracy etc).


The consultation is not asking "should we have LTNs, yes or no?" but rather "we are having LTNs, how best should they be implemented?"

And that consultation forms part of the decision making process alongside stuff like traffic counts, pollution data, bus journey times, modal shift measures and so on although offset with a fairly dramatic shift in travel patterns anyway.


Generally (as with pretty much all these schemes) the data is overwhelmingly positive or at the very least trending in the right direction given another couple of months or a tweak to the set-up so the consultation can be seen in the light of "well, it was rather disruptive at first which is to be expected but broadly, things are going in the right direction, we'll keep monitoring and keep consulting maybe with a few amendments here and there as required".


It doesn't help the purpose of the consultation when stuff like this happens either:

https://brixtonblog.com/2022/01/concerted-attempts-to-manipulate-brixton-ltn-consultation/


(not unique to Lambeth by any means)

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I notice that as well as the Dulwich schemes being made permanent, there are several other London boroughs announcing similar this week. A positive start to 2022.


Lambeth - Railton and Oval


Lewisham - Lewisham and Lee Green


Enfield - Bowes

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But Ex- are you saying it was bad that people were trying to manipulate the consultation or that the council culled a lot of the responses on the basis that they thought they were duplicates etc?


It may be timely to remind you that there was far more external influence being exerted by the likes of Southwark Cyclists and LCC on consultations across the capital.


Across London there have been plenty of accusations of Labour councils manipulating LTN data and consultations to their advantage: Southwark, Lambeth, Islington, Waltham Forest and so the list goes on all with very familiar dodgy tactics being used by all of them that don't stand any scrutiny. Is this a coincidence?


And I am not buying the Govt forced them too narrative, I think we all know these Labour councillors too well to suggest that they do anything the govt suggests without some sort of fight and this might be the first time in history that they have! So they were certainly willingly complicite and even if the govt forced them to do something strategically their tactical execution has been utterly horrendous - that responsibility lies with local councils not central government.


Ultimately it seems May is the only time people will have their chance to have their say. Let's see what happens and wether the Southwark Red Wall starts to slowly crumble. It's unhealthy to have one party dominance for so long (at any level) and we are seeing the worst of it in Southwark.

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