2 October - Email Campaign Round 1
Here is a copy of our original email objecting to the LTNs in Islington sent on 2 October to each of the 48 Islington councillors, followed by the response from Martin Klute.
We are writing to you as a group of Islington residents who oppose the road closure schemes that are being implemented across the borough without appropriate consultation. We believe that they have been implemented in an undemocratic manner and are not achieving their objectives, therefore we urge you to reconsider and remove these schemes.
We believe that the Council is failing in its duty of care and has taken the decision to close these roads despite there being grave concerns that procedures have not been followed. This has resulted in direct discrimination and a breach of Section 122 of the RTRA 1984.
We believe that the Council has failed to address factors that need to be taken into account when making decisions that change residents' lives and by doing so, and by doing so has caused a violation of our human rights. These rights are enshrined in law and protect us from authoritarian overreach by elected officials who unfairly intrude into our lives.
We believe that the road closures implemented are not delivering any of the benefits envisaged. In fact, we clearly see adverse effects. These include serious concerns around access for emergency service vehicles, the exceptional needs of the elderly, infirm and vulnerable, and the increase in crime. None of these has been addressed or even seriously considered, The measures are in fact discriminatory.
We believe that the discretion exercised by an authority wielding power should be exercised reasonably. This appears not to have happened.
The Government guidelines state that Councils cannot make such decisions without:
Considering access for Blue Badge holders, deliveries and other essential services as appropriate;
Considering access for Emergency Services;
Consulting local businesses, including those temporarily closed, should be consulted to ensure proposals meet their needs when they re-open;
Enabling kerbside access should be enabled wherever possible for deliveries and servicing;
The public sector equality duty still applies, and in making any changes to their road networks, authorities must consider the needs of disabled people and those with other protected characteristics. Accessibility requirements apply to temporary measures as they do to permanent ones.
Undertaking a full impact assessment;
We believe that these guidelines have not been followed.
The displacement of local traffic onto longer, more time-consuming routes on main roads has led to unacceptable congestion and additional air pollution in what are still residential streets. With no sign of traffic 'evaporation', the project is at best flawed and at worst socially unjust.
Islington is not breaching current EU PM limits. A far reaching exercise which so negatively affects its residents and businesses is not warranted or necessary.
We understand that the Council is planning to press ahead regardless of the risks and objections of residents. These closures form part of a larger programme which will deliver a total of 21 LTNs across Islington by the end of 2021. We therefore need to see our local Councillors standing up for the residents and their families,plus the businesses and organisations who are all struggling in many ways with these unreasonable changes.
We are sure that we do not need to remind you that Councillors are public office holders and as such are both servants of the public and stewards of public resources.
From an extract of The Council's Constitution and the relative Principles of Public Life, it is stated that councillors must:
act solely in terms of the public interest;
act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias;
be accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this;
act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing;
exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs;
Given the above goals, we believe that as councillors of LBI, you are neglecting your duties to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public's trust in the office that you hold. You are therefore guilty of a wilful dereliction of duty.
We would very much like to see you stand up and represent your constituents and for you to publicly oppose these road closing schemes.
Covid 19 will have far-reaching and longlasting effects upon the quantum, nature and location of employment. It also creates a paradigm shift which renders an LTN "experiment" clearly invalid.
Rather than fomenting divisive culture wars in a Borough which is clearly split on the LTN issue, the Council should be looking to unite its electorate to deal with the far more important issue of the economic and social ramifications of Covid upon the future.
We have a wealth of talent in the Borough which could be used more wisely than in arguing with each other on social media.
As residents of Islington impacted by these schemes, we would like to meet with you with a view to discussing the above points in more detail.
We look forward to hearing from you and will welcome an opportunity to meet with you in the not too distant future.
On behalf of LBI Residents
Response from: Klute, Martin
Sun, Oct 4, 6:12 PM to Rowena, Richard, ResidentsLBI
The points you raise, and the manner in which you raise them is are a matter for the Council as an organisation rather than individual members. I am forwarding ths email to the leader of the council and our executive member for environment for a response.
Councillor Martin Klute
Labour Member for St. Peters Ward
London Borough of Islington
Chair: Planning Committee
020 7527 3114 (daytime messages only)
Mon, Oct 5, 1:44 PM to Martin
Dear Councillor Klute,
Many thanks for your response which we find is rather disappointing.
We would like to take this opportunity to point out that we addressed your individual responsibilities as a councillor as well as the duties of the Council as a whole. Consequently we feel that we warrant an individual response from you on that basis, rather than the abrupt dismissal and abrogation of responsibility which we appear to have received.
We hope that you can find the time to review again and come back to us with your individual feedback. As mentioned in our previous email we are very welcome to the opportunity to have an open dialogue on these matters together with our concerns about the implementation of the LTN's across Islington.
We look forward to hearing from you in due course.