Thank you Richard for announcing this meeting. Tory MP David Burrowes. is creating false divisions in our community for reasons that are pretty obvious. The reality is that we can and do support both our local shops AND our local cyclists - it is wrong to pretend, as Mr. Burrowes does, that we must choose between one or the other.

Go back to the Mini-Holland award - a bipartisan effort signed off by the MP's fellow Enfield Tories and by Conservative Ldn mayor Boris Johnson - and you will see that the Council has always promised to consult extensively to ensure that the scheme's ultimate roll-out accommodates the interests of all our constituencies. Starting, contrary to the misinformation the MP is disseminating, with our shopkeepers. 

Many of us are also taken aback by the way in which Mr. Burrowes and his chosen Council candidates' campaign ignores local residents' air quality concerns. Less than a month after truly horrendous smog afflicted London residents (starting with Bowes and Palmers Green wards, abutting the North Circular), the Tory MP is trying to foster opposition to a scheme meant to have major health benefits for all our people. It's highly irresponsible, even dangerous.

The reality is that cyclists such as myself are also shoppers and motorists. Research shows that commercial districts accessible to pedestrians and cyclists feature higher spend than those which can solely be accessed via automobiles. We can and will ensure there is enough parking in and around the Palmers Green high street.

Concerned residents need to attend the meeting to tell this Conservative MP and his followers that it is wrong to be so negative and block progress towards a more sustainable community and indeed economy.

To repeat, I support both our shops and our cyclists. Mr. Burrowes is wrong to say it's one or the other. Please let him know.

Views: 904

Comment by karl brown on April 23, 2014 at 12:27

Highly relevant letter in todays (23rd April) Enfield Independent providing links highlighting experiences from North America and Europe that cyclist make better shoppers than drivers.

I guess be it Winchmore Hill, Palmers Green or Myddleton Road centres, a key question has to be, is it cars or people who spend the money and make the associated social interactions? if it's people, then cars become merely one of several secondary, or even tertiary, factors and the real analysis needs to focus on what (actual and potential shopping and socialising) people want. That may not always be the same as politicians or landlords.

Comment by Administrator on April 23, 2014 at 13:38

For info: letter as printed in the Enfield Indy:

Comment by Geoffrey Kemball-Cook on April 25, 2014 at 9:08
I too am disappointed at the anti-cycling moves from David Burrowes, apparently in favour of supporting local traders. As Alan Sitkin says, this is not about making a choice between one lot of people winning and another losing, but actually about ALL people winning. We all rely on local shops and if "Use It Or Lose It" is a cliche, it is because it is 100% true. The available evidence on considered implementation of cycling schemes is quite clear - large benefits to shopkeepers as well as to general public health and social cohesiveness. What is not to support here? Come on David! You're a good man, family-centred: step over those party barriers and work together with all supporters of this scheme.

There may be some motorists who see the Mini-Holland scheme as an attack on their liberty in favour of another "opposing group" - regular cyclists. I would point out that such schemes are not about making it easier for people who already cycle every day to shop easily - at the expense of car drivers - but about encouraging all the rest of us who are put off from shopping and general travelling in our area on two wheels due to the threatening dominance of cars everywhere. Many motorists would welcome the encouragement back onto two wheels - at first for shorter journeys - for health, economy and that indefinable positive sense of being part of the world rather than always negatively battling against it. As a motorist but only occasional holiday cyclist (in East Anglia) I am exactly the type of person to be lured back to the bicycle, and there must be hordes like me out there. Give me some cycle lanes and cycle parking in local shopping areas, and I will be out there with my wallet open, ready to spend locally. THIS is the way to challenge the power of supermarkets and keep the shops profitable on our High Streets.
Comment by Administrator on April 25, 2014 at 9:23

A further contribution to this discussion from Palmers Green resident Richard Crutchley is published on his own blog.

Comment by Administrator on April 25, 2014 at 23:17

There is a report on last night's public meeting on the Palmers Green Community website.

This outlines the areas of discussion at the meeting and suggests that the formal consultation over the forthcoming months will provide an opportunity for the range of opinions to be voiced.    

Comment by John Mellor on April 26, 2014 at 9:29

Rather than un-informed guessing or assertion about what our MP thinks - here is some factual information.

At the public meeting David Burrowes MP spoke against the Mini Holland Bid - despite it's cross-party approval at the Enfield Council bidding stage.

Last weekend Burrowes was pounding the streets of Palmers Green raising opposition to Mini Holland bid  and was happy to publicise his opposition in the photograph below on his Twitter account:

Well there is an election coming ... and head of the PG traders association Costas Georgiou is standing as a single-issue independent candidate in the local election opposing the removal of parking spaces. He spoke at the meeting as one of the three presentations opposed to the bid.

Comment by Administrator on April 27, 2014 at 14:21

There is a further report on this meeting by David Flint Prospective Green Parliamentary Candidate - Enfield North: follow this link.

Comment by Alan Sitkin on April 28, 2014 at 15:18
A lot of misinformation has been communicated in relation to the fantastic £30 mio in cycling investment that Enfield's Labour Council has succeeded in getting for our borough (and ultimately our ward). But let’s be clear – everyone will be consulted and encouraged to feed into the actual project layout. As stated in a recent Enfield Council briefing
“All of the schemes will be subject to extensive consultation and will evolve and change as part of the design process. The coming months will be spent collecting data, carrying out studies and developing traffic models so that meaningful consultation can commence later in the year, probably around October 2014. The precise method of consultation has yet to be decided, but will probably be a combination of local exhibitions and leaflet drops etc.

The governance arrangements for the project will be agreed by Cabinet in June, but it is envisaged that a Project Board will be established including the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Environment. Opposition Members will also be given the opportunity to sit on the Board. A steering group (or groups) will also be established, with representations from a wide range of organisations including EBRA, disability groups, CAG, FERRA etc.”
Comment by John Mellor on April 28, 2014 at 16:56

It is frustrating that something with a bit of vision and a long-term goal of improving our high street risks getting smashed in the grubby short-term advantage-seeking electoral time frame.

The bid (which DID include initial consultation with EBRA and FERRA) was agreed as a cross-party proposal from Enfield borough to apply for money put up for this purpose by Mr Burrowes' own government. However a disgruntled Enfield Tory party gets jumpy because a couple of pro-business "independent" candidates might reduce their share of the vote - so try to backtrack and wreck a positive scheme.

I wonder if they even know that the Tories over the North Circular in Hornsey and Wood Green are publicly backing a similar scheme there (follow this link) ... but then the Tory electoral focus in Hornsey  is unseating an unpopular Lib Dem MP  ... (.. are there any other kind?)

It's good to see dispassionate evidence presented in support of the scheme - but I fear that those who shriek opposition will be listened to as if their baseless assertions carried equal weight.  In a febrile pre-election period ... not just this month - but right  up until May 2015 - this debate will be played out on the basis of minor short-term advantage in the polls and pursuit of private proft rather than genuine concern for quality of life, clean air, road safety, childhood obesity or improvements in the public realm. 

Comment by John Mellor on April 28, 2014 at 21:19

The Mini Holland bid was a Labour group initiative which  got support from the opposition ... that's the way Local politics works. It is a Labour Council because at the last election more Labour Councillors were elected than any other party...they are the majority party and run the council ... at least for another month.

It is precisely what you call the"pretty normal politics maneuvering" that angers me. For their  narrow party political interest a major and innovative scheme potentially benefiting the whole community is sacrificed... and by politicians, who a couple of weeks ago, were backing it. Clearly it can't be a whole council scheme if one party are dropping their support for it as an election tactic

As to the detail of the scheme I as a cyclist do not want to be diverted round the back streets - I too am a shopper and my passing trade will generate as much income for the shopkeepers as any motorist.

A petition in support of the scheme is something I would be pleased to support - but I don't feel the scheme is yet worked up enough to warrant realistic support - my guess is that the October date specified in the Council statement will give the planners and officers time to consult and present a more concrete plan which could be be the subject of a widespread campaign of support.

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