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Government accused of dragging its feet over "verge law"

May 19, 2009 12:14 PM

David HowarthMP David Howarth has accused the government of "dragging its feet" over a decision which would give Cambridge City Council the power to tailor make and enforce its own by-laws.

The move would allow the council to take action against motorists who have plagued city residents for years by parking on grass verges outside their homes.

Under a city by-law, motorists parking in roads which are already experiencing problems could be punished with a fixed penalty fine issued by the city council.

But, although the government canvassed local authorities nationally about the idea last year and promised to publish its findings in February, there is still no news.

Now Mr Howarth will put a Parliamentary Question to Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, pushing her to make a decision.

He said: "This is just another example of the government dragging its feet on an issue which could have been resolved months ago.

"Cambridge residents have suffered for years from inconsiderate motorists churning up grass verges near their homes. Here we have a solution by giving local councils the power to make and enforce by-laws relevant to their towns and cities and the government is holding back.

"Yet this is a government which claims it wants to hand over power to communities to give them real control and influence."

Cambridge City Council leader. Councillor Ian Nimmo-Smith said: "At the moment we have government-made by-laws and only cumbersome means of enforcing them. If we could create our own by-laws we could tailor them to fit Cambridge and enforce them more simply.

"The government finished its consultation in November and promised the results in three months. But, once again, it has broken its promise."