SAINSBURY’S PARTIAL CLIMBDOWN IN PARKING ROW – but only for the bridge club!!!!
SAINSBURY’S STORE in Upper Norwood have partially backed down in a row over parking by users of the neighbouring Phoenix community centre in the outside car park behind their Westow Street store – but only, it appears so far, for the bridge club!
No exemptions are being offered for organisations such as dance classes, yoga classes, post-natal pilates, a mother and toddler playgroup and Crystal Palace Ki Aikido which also use the centre.
As News From Crystal Palace has previously reported a parking clampdown led to the cancellation of the monthly (September to May) Sunday antique and collectors fayre at the Phoenix community centre which stands on the left of the store on Westow Street.
Criticism of Sainsbury’s action came from Crystal Palace Chamber of Commerce and GLA member for Croydon and Sutton Steve O’Connell.
But now, in a letter to Val Shawcross, Labour’s transport spokeswoman on the Greater London Assembly, Sainsbury’s say they have met with the Phoenix community centre and that their legal team will be drawing up an agreement with them.
In the letter Upper Norwood store manager David Parry says “You recently raised concerns about the availability of parking at our store, noting that members of the Phoenix community centre have been using our parking facilities for some time, but have recently encountered problems with the way in which our parking facilities are monitored.
“We recognise the importance of continuing a strong working relationship with the community and important local organisations. “We have therefore taken proactive steps to resolve the matter.
“Following your correspondence, my colleague Gavin Clarke met with the community centre to agree a way forward which is suitable for both parties.
“We have now agreed to keep a record of all bridge club vehicles, thereby providing them with a formal exemption from the parking restrictions on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday between the hours of 12:30 and 16:45.
“We will also stop enforcement of parking restrictions after 18:00 on Saturday and 17:00 on Sunday, to enable the community centre to rent out the centre with free unrestricted parking.
“We will be documenting this agreement with the community centre by way of an informal letter agreement drawn up by the Sainsbury’s legal team.”
Val Shawcross told News From Crystal Palace: “I raised the issue with Sainsbury’s and received a helpful reply. “As I thought, they weren’t really aware of the impact of their new operational arrangements on the car park users from the community centre.
“I’m really pleased that when the problem with parking for the community centre was brought to their attention and explained Sainsbury’s did the right thing and made an effort to help.”
Val Shawcross, who said she had also contacted Sainsbury’s because people from Lambeth and Southwark who she represents also use the Phoenix centre as it so close to the border, added: “I was glad to be able to help because I have had contact with their head office about other issues (a pedestrian crossing at Water Lane Brixton for example).
“I have always found them to be very professional and interested in keeping good relationships with their local communities. “I have thanked them warmly and promised to make sure I always buy my biscuits there!”
News From Crystal Palace have contacted Sainsbury’s head office with the following observation and question: :
The main cause of concern initially was that people arriving for an antique and collectors fayre on one Sunday a month from September to May (which opens to the public at 10 am and runs until 4pm) would face fines if they parked in the outside area for longer than three hours.
Please could you let us know why the antiques fayre stallholders – and all other organisations using the community centre – have been excluded from the proposed exemptions in the discussions held with the community centre?
No reply has yet been received.