Lee Valley parking charges – email to Epping Forest and Essex representatives

The Lee Valley Regional Park Authority Executive Committee is meeting on Thursday morning and will discuss the parking charges at Lee Valley Regional Park.

Cllrs Syd Stavrou and Valerie Metcalf are our representatives on the committee, representing Epping Forest and Essex respectively.

I emailed them this morning asking them to support some of the proposals they’ll be discussing on Thursday.

For more information about the meeting and the campaign please visit the Lee Valley Parking Action Group website: lee-valley-regional-park-authority-meeting-22nd-march-2018/

I’ve also written about the campaign on the Epping Forest Green Party website: greens-support-call-to-cut-parking-charges-at-lee-valley-region-park/

Dear Cllrs Stavrou and Metcalf,

I am writing to you in your capacities as Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) Executive Committee members representing Epping Forest and Essex respectively.

The recent introduction of car parking charges in Lee Valley Regional Park has been controversial. I won’t go into all of the arguments here as I’m sure you have been keeping abreast of the situation.

Jon Carney has put seven proposals to Thursday’s Executive Committee meeting for consideration. These are listed below with my requests for your support/opposition with reasons given :

  1. General Season tickets £50 (replacement or change of details £10) – please support. I believe that £50 is very reasonable, although I’d like to see payment by instalment available for people on low incomes
  2. Angler’s Permit £20 (replacement or change of details £10) – given the amount that anglers already pay for their permits I don’t think it reasonable to levy an additional charge for parking. However, if this is the only option on the table I ask you to support it.
  3. Blue Badge Holders to park free – please support. It’s shocking that this wasn’t included in the first place.
  4. Introduce a new pricing band 1-2hrs £1.00 – please oppose and support option 6
  5. Remove the free hour and charge £1.00 for 0-2hrs – please oppose and support option 6
  6. Increase the free hour to 2 free hours – please support. One hour is not enough time to enjoy Lee Valley Park and would leave people clock-watching rather than making the most of the facilities.
  7. Keep the current charges as proposed and review after 6 months – please oppose.

I appreciate that Lee Valley Regional Park Authority has been put in this position by central government funding cuts to councils and subsequent council funding cuts to LVRPA. For this reason I am not asking you to vote for complete removal of all charges – in order to maintain the park the authority needs to address the funding gap and car park charging is one way to do that.

However, a balance needs to be struck and I believe that by supporting proposals 1, 3 and 6 above you’ll be helping to achieve that.

As a Green Party activist I would of course rather see people using alternative means of transport to car use but for many people –  particularly wheelchair users and others living with disabilities – that’s not possible. Many of these sites are poorly served by public transport and aren’t safely accessible. Since getting involved in the campaign to cut the parking charges I’ve become aware of the importance of Lee Valley Park to the community and the impact these charges are already having on people.

I believe that proposals 1, 3 and 6 are a good compromise and I hope you will support them.

I look forward to seeing you at Thursday morning’s meeting and hearing your contributions.

Kind regards,

Dave Plummer – Green Party

Waltham Abbey Town Coordinator

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