The objections raised to the introduction of a £1 charge for evening, Sunday and Bank holiday use of Council car parks must be unique in coming from every sector of the local community: commercial and retail businesses, stall holders, events organisers, disability groups, heritage organisations and residents; leaving one to wonder what it takes, in a month where the Chancellor of the Exchequer has abandoned proposed cuts to PIPs because of public discontent, for the public of this Borough to persuade the Council not to proceed with a measure that is so widely opposed, so can Councillors please listen to the people and find some other means to raise this revenue?
Since you say if you can come up with any other suggestions please let us know can I assume that you will actually be allowing time before the implementation of these proposals if you do go ahead for those suggestions to come forward?
We did receive around 400 responses to the proposals for introducing evening and weekend parking and the vast majority were opposed to the introduction of charges and very few did suggest an alternative as we have seen for Woodley who did come forward with an alternative. All of these responses were read, and we did read all 400 of them, and considered in light of the pressure on the Council to find additional income and make savings.
All car parking income is used to fund the upkeep and improvement of the Council’s road network. The cost of this service is largely dependent upon the cost of materials used, and of course they have all gone up in cost but the main is the cuts that we are actually enjoying; I guess you could describe it as that from the Government. Without finding additional income there are services that we would have to cut and those services would fall in a lot of cases on the weaker section of the population and would lead to a deterioration of the Borough’s road network.
I did not come into this job to put up the prices, I am a Conservative, and I did not come into this to cut services to the most vulnerable. We are placed in a fairly difficult situation but I will take your recommendation away and discuss that with my colleagues with regards to what we do but please understand every month that ticks by means that money is not available for us to spend on the most vulnerable people who are in the Borough.
Can we be quite clear whether it is £1 for the limits of parking whether it is two hours or three hours that are normally imposed which is what I have been told by the Regeneration Team that a £1 will buy you two hours or three hours or whether it is a £1 for the whole period between the normal closure of the day time regime or the Sunday regime? Is it just £1 for the whole period or is it £1 for three hours, four hours or two hours?
I am told it is £1 for the whole thing.