Coalition Consequences

 I’m starting a new, occasional feature on this website, devoted to the – often unintended – consequences of Coalition Government policy on ordinary people and communities, here in Greenwich and in Blackheath Westcombe ward in particular.

Coalition Consequences is not meant to just be a list of the problems that these policies are causing – although there is indeed a long list of those – or merely a party-political attack on them. It will also be as objective as possible an account of what is happening, why, and what lessons Labour can learn.  Or, more positively, how these problems can be put right, or how the policies can be adjusted in some cases to remove their negative side-effects.

First up I will be looking at the changes to Blue Badge parking permits for people with mobility problems, which started from a germ of a good idea – make the Blue Badge application process more rigorous to weed out fraudulent or unnecessary applications – but is actually meaning that genuinely disabled people are ending up with parking tickets.

This will be  followed by the abolition of School Sport Partnerships (which despite everything that Greenwich’s Labour council is doing in this area, has had a crushing effect on competitive sport between schools).

Thirdly, I will be looking at the Protection of Freedoms Act and its abolition of car clamping on private land – which, like some other Conservative-Lib Dem coalition policies, sounds superficially attractive, but is causing real problems in parts of Blackheath where residents of unadopted roads simply want the same measure of parking controls as on maintained highways nearby.

If anyone would like to write their own piece on this theme for this website, or suggest a topic for me to write about, please email me at alex.grant@greenwich.gov.uk.

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