As you may know I have to be in East Ham (Newham Council) a couple of times a
week and I sometimes pass the time there by reading the Council’s magazine. It’s
very like Bexley’s but with one big difference, it comes out every two weeks.
How do they get away with that when Greenwich was banned from weekly issues?
The current magazine, which is typical, carries only two commercial advertisements and still Newham manages to have the fifth lowest Council Tax in London.
They do things very differently to high tax Bexley, among them their targeting of rogue landlords. 1,072 prosecuted in three years and 415 cautioned. Fines under the 2016 Housing and Planning Act can be up to £30,000 a time.
However living in Newham is far from being a bed of roses. Their latest wheeze is to make every road in the borough subject to a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ).
Consider what that means. Within the borough you will only be able to drive to destinations in your own small zone (where the local permit code is valid) or elsewhere in the borough if you know someone who lives there who will let you have a visitors’ permit. £1.20 for six hours. £5 for ten hours.
Many people will be unable to drive to and park near their doctor’s surgery. It will potentially be the end of the school run.
Shopping in the borough will be next to impossible as there are very few public car parks. Stratford has the only multi-storey which has 548 spaces. There are 241 more spaces around Stratford but a mile or more from the shops. Elsewhere in Newham there is a total of 136 spaces in East Ham and 31 in Plaistow. And that’s your lot. £2 an hour too - and you thought Bexley was ripping you off.
East Ham’s Labour MP Stephen Timms is supporting the protest. (Newham Recorder.)
Make the most of Bexley’s freedoms, they may not last. It has already been discussing quadrupling the size of the CPZ around Abbey Wood station.