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Deputy leader to face grilling after multiple challenges made against Greenwich LTN scheme

Averil Lekau

Cllr Averil Leaku (above) is set to be publicly questioned after the Leader of the Opposition and three of her fellow Labour councillors issued challenges against her decision to roll out a series of low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs), made in her capacity as Cabinet member for climate change, environment and transport.

Conservative councillor Matt Hartley, and Labour councillors Lakshan Saldin (Charlton Hornfair), Leo Fletcher (Blackheath Westcombe) and Maisie Richards Cottell (East Greenwich) submitted their challenges by way of a ‘call-in’ yesterday after the decision to trial the West & East Greenwich Neighbourhood Management Project was made final on 8 March.

Hartley’s submission stated five reasons for the call-in, including the ‘widespread perception’ that the consultations were flawed, lack of cohesion between the consultation results and decision made, and further lack of consultation for all options considered.

Call-in request

His call-in statement, an excerpt of which is pictured above, also claimed that the council had not fully considered the impact the trial scheme would have on boundary roads and neighbouring areas, nor had it put any plans in place to ensure the scheme’s effects would be monitored before or after its implementation.

The report went on to request the provision of full survey results from the stage 1 and stage 2 consultations, traffic and air quality data, traffic modelling data, details of any other options considered and full details on how the scheme will be evaluated.

It also proposed an alternative decision, which would require the council to develop a wider range of options fully supported by residents and a request for further consultation - particularly with those living on boundary roads and across areas that will bear the brunt of displaced traffic.

Cllrs Fletcher, Richards Cottell, and Saldin cited similar concerns raised by residents in each of their respective wards.

Other councillors who responded to residents did so negatively towards their concerns, towing the generic party line of being ‘committed to policies agreed by the council.’

The call-in will now result in Cllr Lekau facing questions from the four councillors who have challenged the decision and members of the public who oppose the West & East Greenwich Neighbourhood Management Project, which is currently scheduled to be implemented towards the end of summer.

The trial scheme, set to last up to 18 months, will see all hills in West and East Greenwich (as pictured above) closed to through traffic on weekdays between 7-10am and 3-7pm, despite overwhelming rejection from residents.

Scrutiny will take place following the mayoral elections in May. A date has yet to be announced.

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