Recognising in 89.2 of the Agenda (Revenue Monitoring 2015/16) that there has been overachieved car park income of £75k and the report from the RAC in the Bracknell News Weekender that Wokingham Borough Council made a surplus of £793k in 2014/15, how much more money does he want from us with his proposed car parking charges in the evening and Sunday?
The proposal to introduce evening and Sunday charges is estimated to raise £150,000 a year.
We have, for many years, charged for car parks during the day and generally this is something that is not disputed. People’s travel and habits have changed and it would be remiss of us not to reflect this in how we run the Borough’s assets; in this case car parks.
I understand that the additional cost to users is an anathema to some but we have to be pragmatic in the utilisation of our assets and a £1 charge needs to be seen in light of the overall spend that most people will incur on their trip.
Inevitably some people will choose to go elsewhere but we expect the level of resistance to be very low. We will monitor the impact on an annual basis to determine what effect, if any, the charges will have on car park use.
Most importantly though all of the revenue generated by car parks is invested in highways and transport and without this additional income stream there would be less money to spend on the roads that badly need it.
By way of a supplementary I would like to do two things. One is to say to you that £150k next year is about £1 per person – now here is my £1 for you to give to Graham Ebers to see what he can come up with to try and resist this unnecessary change.
In your response as well you referred to an e-mail that Matt Davey had sent which he also sent to me so it has a familiar ring to it. I didn’t like the tone very much but I want to read you just the other bit.
(At this point Councillor Kaiser clarified that he had not referred to an e-mail in his answer).
At the beginning of that e-mail from Matt Davey, who is Head of Highways and Transport, he refers as before to a certain amount of benchmarking being done but he does go on to say that the benchmarking was not to determine whether to charge or not as this principle, meaning the principle of evening and Sunday charging, has already been established. Now as far as I understand it we are in a middle of a consultation about something that has not appeared anywhere else before eg evening and Sunday charging. Therefore can you tell me where the principle of evening and Sunday charging has been established; otherwise we are wasting our time with this consultation?
The consultation goes out to everybody for their opinion but as a Council we need to utilise our assets the best we possibly can and I would say to you do you believe that our roads are not in a state that they need repairing?
The Leader of Council made the following comment:
The decision has not been made we will review the responses from the consultation and then on the basis of that a decision will be made as part of the overall Council budget setting.