After criticising Labour and Tories slashing funding for works on Elm Grove and Queens Park Road, Greens win back funding of the project as Labour and Tories fall in line
In Policy & Resources Committee today, Greens secured funding for vital, permanent works on Elm Grove and Queens Park Road, in what was a huge win for them and for residents. At Budget Council in February, Labour and Conservative councillors voted to defund the Liveable Neighbourhood project in Hanover & Tarner. Also known as the Low-Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN), the cut was passed despite heavy criticism from Green councillors, who emphasised how vital the plans to improve streets and reduce air pollution are. Greens also spoke to how popular the first strand of the project is with residents, namely permanent improvements to make Elm Grove, Queen’s Park Road and Egremont Place safer and greener.
Since then, Greens say they have been proven correct. After Greens and officers spent months developing those proposals based on consultation with residents, a huge number of people, especially from the roads that will border the trial area, have spoken out on the need to reverse this decision. The Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee heard from many residents asking for the decision to be revisited
Without Labour or Tories, the Greens did not have enough votes to be able to refund the scheme by themselves, despite it being a key Green policy. But today, when Labour and Tories pledged that they would support restoring the funding in Policy & Resources Committee, Greens welcomed this U-turn. With Labour and Tories backtracking in the face of a clearly-wanted project, these works are now able to proceed through the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, with permanent improvements rolling out as soon as possible.
Elaine Hills, Co-chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said:
“We are pleased to hear of Labour’s U-turn, and welcome them seeing the light about the need for Liveable Neighbourhood schemes in this city.
“Greens have consistently been arguing that these projects are an effective way of reducing road danger and carbon whilst improving air quality and health outcomes. Labour wanted to disregard it as a vanity project, but the city has told them otherwise.
“The most important thing is that this work to make the area safer and greener can now proceed. I am excited to see this work get the funding, so the people of Hanover & Tarner can be the first in the city to benefit”
Leader of the Council Phelim Mac Cafferty said:
“It was only weeks ago that the Labour MP for Kemptown claimed that low traffic neighbourhoods were unaffordable, after Labour councillors disappointingly described them as ‘vanity projects’.
“We welcome Labour’s subsequent U-turn and hope their days of flip-flopping on sustainable transport are at an end.
“As we have done all along, Green councillors remain firmly committed to playing our part in improving air quality, reducing rat running, and making it easier for residents to choose walking and cycling first. A liveable neighbourhood offers all of these: ensuring quieter, safer and healthier streets. We look forward to what more we can deliver in the months and years to come.”