In December 2021 Haringey Council agreed that Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) would be introduced. The Adult Social Care Joint Partnership Board have challenged the lack of exemptions relating to this for those most vulnerable.
In December 2021 Haringey Council agreed that Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) would be introduced in Bounds Green, Bruce Grove West Green and St Ann’s, to tackle pollution and support residents to walk, cycle and shop locally.
The plans proposed were for the three areas to be closed to through-traffic to help make them safer, greener, and cleaner places for the people living there. The schemes are part of the ‘Haringey Streets for People’ initiative.
Following the announcement of the LTN scheme, Haringey’s Adult Social Care Joint Partnership Board (JPB), which ensures that vulnerable groups in Haringey have a voice in the way NHS services and social care are provided for them, met to discuss the plans. There was deep seated concern about the failure to properly consult with elderly and disabled residents, carers, and mental health service users, and how it would affect them.
In March 2022, the JPB was advised that consultants would be appointed by Haringey Council to look at LTN exemptions for blue badge holders, carers and others. In April 2022, a council representative attended the JPB’s meeting and advised that the consultants would start work on 29th April 2022, and that some exemptions, previously agreed Haringey’s Cabinet, would remain. In May 2022 the JPB were told that Systra had been appointed to undertake this work.
There is ongoing unease about the Council’s commitment to the principle of co-production, which appears to be in question given the experience the JPB has had in relation to this issue.
The JPB asked the officer attending whether they would see the draft before it was submitted to Haringey’s Cabinet, and what additions were proposed to be made to the exemptions criteria.
There was particular concern about which people and vehicles would get exemptions, especially as regards disabled people and carers who live outside of an LTN but needed to visit family or clients, as well as about people on the margins of being registered disabled. There was a real fear expressed that many vulnerable people would be denied visiting by friends and family who would be deterred by an overzealous scheme. The importance of taxis and minicabs being able to pick up or drop off at addresses within the LTN was discussed extensively.
On 12th July 2022, a Haringey Cabinet report was shared with the JPB outlining the revised exemptions policy, with feedback required by 13th July 2022. The report and appendices ran into scores of pages, and due to this the JPB were unable to form a view in the time available. This was immediately relayed to Haringey Council.
On 28th July 2002, members of the JPB, who come from nine independent Reference Groups formed of NHS and Adult Social Care service users from a wide range of services in Haringey, met to consider the matter further. Members had followed the matter closely for many months and many had participated in various consultations over a long period, but felt let down and ignored, having given much of their time to a matter of huge practical concern to them.
The Haringey Joint Partnership Board has now written to Haringey Council to ask:
- Why the consultant’s brief had not been shared with them?
- Why the consultant had not come to discuss their findings with the JPB?
- Why were several members who offered to participate not contacted?
- Why they have not had sight of the final Systra report?
- Why they had not been given an opportunity to comment in good time, on the revised exemptions policy before being finalised at Haringey’s Cabinet?
- Why were the Equality and Diversity assessments not shared earlier?
- Why is there no reference at all to the consultation with the JPB in the report?
- Was the consultation they had pressed for ever intended to be genuine, and meaningful?
The view of the JPB is that the report detailed above represents very little advance on the previous exemptions policy to which there were so many objections.
Whilst understanding the sustainability objectives of the LTNs, the JPB remains deeply worried about their effect on a broad range of members of the nine Reference Groups, and the limitations that it will place on the lives of some of the most disadvantaged in our borough on a day-to-day basis.
You can download and read the Joint Partnership Board’s letter to Haringey Council below.
For information: Public Voice, which runs and manages Healthwatch Haringey, was commissioned by Haringey Council in 2017 to establish and support the running of the Joint Partnership Board and its Reference Groups in order to provide an interface with residents, service clients and carers in Haringey, with the intention of ensuring meaningful dialogue on strategies and policies that will impact on them.
It is made up of representatives of a number of active Reference Groups to ensure that their particular needs are take in account. Reference Groups comprise specific groups of people and include: learning disability; autism; older people; mental health; physical disability; dementia; severe and complex learning disability and autism; carers; those transitioning from child to adult social care.