We tabled a motion to the District Council on 24 November to bring the charges for the District Council’s Residents’ Parking Scheme for Church Street and North Street residents into line with the charges for the County Council’s Residents’ Parking Scheme in nearby roads.
At present, the cost of the parking permits for residents in these roads under the District Council’s parking scheme is £350 a year. This compares with the County Council charges for on street residents parking permits of £50 a year.
We presented the case as a win-win situation: fairer parking charges for residents, more revenue for the District Council as more residents would purchase permits, and the bringing into use of the usually empty spaces in the St Martin’s Walk Car Park to make this happen.
The motion was unfortunately lost, with a senior Conservative Councillor claiming that it was inappropriate to reduce the cost of the permits as the value of houses in Church Street and North Street would increase if the cost of the parking permits was reduced. We note that the opposite argument (that the value of homes would fall) was not advanced by the Conservative Councillors when the cost of the permits was doubled a couple of years ago.
We strongly believe that the District Council has made the wrong decision in refusing to review the cost of these permits. The high cost of these permits, in our view, reflects the District Council administration’s belief that it is appropriate to charge residents exorbitant fees where it can in order to subsidise the council tax and that it does not need to provide a cost-effective and fairly priced service to residents where it has the ability to charge more. We believe that this is wrong and we will continue to try to get the cost of these permits reduced and a fair charge introduced.