CONSULTATION documents put out by Harrow Council will now carry arguments both for and against proposed developments in Harrow on the Hill after a row over traffic measures.
The council's traffic and highways department came under pressure from residents and MP for Harrow West, Gareth Thomas, after complaints about the level of consultation regarding a traffic scheme introduced in the area last year.
Speed humps and a 20mph zone were implemented despite the fire brigade, police and bus operators voicing concerns about the measures.
Documents sent out to residents ignored the emergency services' concerns that the measures could affect response times, and a complaint was lodged to the local authority ombudsman by resident David Rudnick.
Although in a letter to the ombudsman, the council's traffic and high-way network manager, Dennis Thompson, admitted the emergency services had not been pleased about the idea - the watchdog failed to find any signs of maladministration.
However, following more pressure from MP Gareth Thomas, Mr Thompson has now written a letter to the politician agreeing that changes will be made to how consultation is carried out.
In the letter, he wrote: "It was confirmed that as a result of the lessons learned [from complaints made about consultation on the Harrow on the Hill scheme] we would include the pros and cons of traffic calming features in future public consultation documents.
"This was actioned and has been included in subsequent consultation documents for relevant schemes.
"This was done by clearly listing the benefits and disbenefits [sic] - examples of disbenefits being potential discomfort to occupants of vehicles.
Although Mr Rudnick is pleased that some success has come from his complaint, he is still angry at what he believes was a completely biased consultation.
He told the Observer: "Although this may prove to be beneficial in the long run the council has only made these changes because they are safe to do so now without jeopardising the scheme, because it has already been completed.
"Presumably the need to put the disadvantages of proposals into a consultation document has never been required before, which beggars belief really.
"I still feel as though the ombudsman has let us down and of course the parliamentary standards committee for local government have still said they may look into the case."