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Ealing Council leader Peter Mason’s office tells resident his emails are “taking up an inordinate amount of council time and resources” and could be banned “from communicating with the council”

An Ealing resident has been threatened by Council leader Peter Mason’s office that he risks being banned “from communicating with the council” over his safety concerns about cars and motorcycles dangerously driving in and around his road.

Mark Uddin says he has been highlighting the issue of cars and motorcycles speeding and bad driving in Windsor Road and The Grove to Labour-run Ealing Council and its leadership but claims the council has failed to help with the issue.

He says the lack of response to his emails has led to him chasing them up again as well as highlighting it on social media for other residents to be aware of.

Over the past few months, Mr Uddin says he has sent around five emails but no one responds.

One recent email addressed directly to Council leader Peter Mason from Mr Uddin said: “The effects on residents of your failure to take any action is this. Children cannot cycle anymore in the street or even play outside as it is not safe for them to do so.”

Mr Uddin claims he has been campaigning about the issue of speeding and poor driving for over three years and feels let down by the council.

He said: “I started this campaign three and a half years ago. The council did a traffic monitoring survey in November 2021. Out of 7200 cars recorded over just seven days, 2818 cars were travelling over 25mph with 174 cars over 35mph. Windsor Road is only an entrance to the shopping centre car park entrance. 20 percent of all cars that are speeding, were after 6pm. We asked the shopping centre car park owners, British Land, could they close our entrance from that time to reduce speeding in our road. They refused, saying, “it would inconvenience our customers”.

The council says it has a plan in place to address the issue and has asked Mr Uddin to wait until the scheme is implemented in the coming weeks and not to contact them until it begins. It also advised Mr Uddin that: “the council has no power to enforce against speeding as this is a criminal matter for the Police.”

But Mr Uddin says the proposals they have offered won’t work. He said: “I have asked them not to do it, because of my concerns it will facilitate faster driving into the school street. The issue is that to change the junction priority with Grove Road, would mean traffic would be driving faster into the Grove School Street.”

In an email from Council leader Peter Mason’s office, his assistant said: “The Council is aware that you are repeatedly emailing council staff and elected members asking questions which have already been answered repeatedly. This is taking up an inordinate amount of council time and resources.”

The email from Councillor Mason’s office further threatened Mr Uddin on how it would deal with him if he continues contacting them by saying: “if you continue to contact members and officers on this matter before the scheme has been implemented and evaluated, your conduct will be determined as unreasonably persistent and dealt with under Ealing Council’s draft Policy on dealing with ‘unreasonably persistent’ complainants and ‘unreasonable complainant behaviour’.”

Currently, Ealing Council has not shared the draft policy. When EALING.NEWS contacted the council to ask where it was, they said the current policy applies as the draft policy is “is in the early stages”.

Under the existing policy a resident could be banned from directly contacting the council by email or phone except through a third party. The restrictions the council’s policy states include:

  • “Banning the complainant from making contact by telephone except through a third party eg solicitor/ councillor/ friend acting on their behalf”
  • “Banning the complainant from communicating with the council by email”

Click here to read Ealing Council unreasonable persistent complainants policy

The council, in its email to Mr Uddin, reiterated that he should wait until the scheme is implemented before contacting them again.

Council leader Peter Mason’s assistant said: “As you know, the scheme for Windsor Road is due to be implemented in the coming weeks. We will not know how effective it will be until after it has bedded in and further time has been allowed for evaluation.

“I ask you to refrain from contacting us again on this matter until after the scheme has been implemented, and there has been some time for evaluation of its efficacy.”

Speaking to EALING.NEWS, Neil Reynolds, chair of Ealing Green Party said: “It is only natural when people feel ignored that they campaign more loudly. If the council find that they can’t constructively engage with an ever increasing number of residents, it should consider why this is, not resort threatening them.”

EALING.NEWS asked Ealing Council for a copy of the “draft policy” as only a 2010 policy is on the council website. A spokesperson said: “At present Ealing has a published policy (2010) on dealing with unreasonably persistent complaints and unreasonable complaint behaviour. The council has initiated an internal process to review this policy, but it is in the early stages.

They added: “In the meantime, the published policy remains in place. We apologise for any confusion.”

Councillor Gary Malcolm, leader of Ealing Liberal Democrats told EALING.NEWS: “I do not know the details of the case but I would expect all councillors to respond to their emails within a few days to hopefully give a partial or a full response. It is only a handful of people who have ever been considered dangerous who have their contact with the council not responded to and often it is via a single Council officers so they can allocate any actions to the relevant council department.”

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