The biggest local issue in the past two years has been the imposition by the Council of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) in Bowes (and Fox Lane). This was done without any consultation with residents. Emergency government regulations allowed for this, but nevertheless, under the same regulations vulnerable people, local businesses and the emergency services should have been consulted. They weren’t.
As soon as it was announced that this scheme was to be imposed, I contacted the Council on behalf of BHORA, pointing out difficulties that pushing all traffic from the Bowes area onto the North Circular Road would cause. My concerns were dismissed without consideration. So BHORA organised a petition – not to stop the LTN completely, but to put the plans on hold until residents had been consulted. In the space of just ten days, 1,600 residents signed the petition calling for consultation.
Delivering the petition under COVID restrictions was a challenge, but we managed to do it. It took the Council’s Scrutiny Committee three months to examine the petition, but it was dismissed out of hand.
By this time, the Bounds & Bowes Voice Group had become very active in the struggle for a democratic process to be applied to the LTN issue, and BHORA agreed that it made more sense to have one local group leading on the issue, and so stepped back.
The worry here is that Enfield Council has acted in a way that has very serious concerns for the democratic process in the Borough. The Council ignores residents’ concerns, and has even insulted individuals, notably on social media. Have our Councillors forgotten that they are public servants, and that they have been elected by residents to work for the good of the community?
BHORA has not disappeared, and when more people are confident about meeting in large numbers we shall call the delayed Annual General Meeting, COVID restrictions allowing. No-one knows how the winter will pan out, but it is hoped that we can meet again in the Spring.