Dave's First East Area Committee as a councillor (19-6-14)
There can be no doubt that as a forum where residents can meet and ask questions of their local councillors East Area Committee works. I support the view that planning would be best dealt with by a central committee where local residents can make their points and where local councillors can speak on behalf of their residents.
Two major concerns
Mill Road and cycling
It is increasingly a cause for concern that safety is compromised by the traffic on Mill Road. In no particular order:
- The road narrows outside Cutlacks and there is a proposed but as yet unfunded scheme to widen this pinchpoint
- The pavement at the top end of Mill Road is narrow and pedestrians often step into the road
- Vehicles often mount the pavement to park
- Traffic is not observing the 20 mph speed limit
- Cyclists can often feel threatened by cars
Yesterday (19-6-14) East Area Committee allocated £20,000 to scope Mill Road. I believe that this should be the start of a review to consider how the road can be made safer in its entirety rather than a piecemeal approach in which for example one pinchpoint is removed and then the unintended consequence is that traffic could speed up creating a danger elsewhere.
I will be pushing for this review and the subsequent consultation so that it may enable a long term picture to emerge of how we want Mill Road to look and develop in the future.
Houses of Multiple Occupation
I have received training for planning and was interested to put this into action at the meeting (19-6-14). As an ex firefighter I have experience of how quickly fire can spread in a house and how this can endanger the occupants. Houses of Multiple occupation are by their very definition places where people who are unrelated live and the The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007 places a number of obligations to protect the residents. The City Council provides some advice about HMO's and their regulation and contact details through its website.
I will be making a point of looking into how safety for residents in HMO's can be improved.
Beds in sheds
There was also some talk of beds in sheds at this meeting. The London Fire Brigade report that 13 people have died and 69 have been seriously injured in beds-in-sheds fires over the past five years.
London Fire Brigade also said there had been 438 fires in London involving buildings that should not have been occupied as a place to live since 2009.