Parking Charges – The Recommendations to Cabinet

Today’s meeting of the Parking Panel was the culmination of over a years worth of work. As with anything that covers parking and charging it is slightly emotive to say the least. I won’t go into all the details on the merits of what was put out during the consultation because everyone has their own opinion. I will just cover what was discussed today and the results of those discussion.

Before I go on, click HERE for the Agenda. Worth a read to familiarise yourselves before you try to understand what I’m about to talk about.

Groupings: Nothing really changed in the proposals that were consulted on, and presented today. There was a case made by a few of the Councillors present to move Penzance from its current group into group 6. The merits of this were discussed, but when it came to the vote it was decided to keep it in group 8.

Hours of Charging: Nothing was changed in this as it was felt that most areas would see more hours that were free of charging. Helston and Porthleven for example would see 3 hours free that has been previously charged.

Tariffs: This area was the concern of a few Councillors, mostly from the South East part of Cornwall. In a previous meeting special treatment was given to the areas of Gunnislake, Liskeard, Callington and Millbrook for the first hours charge. In the end a compromise was made; instead of this being phased in over 3 years, this would be two. 30p first year, then 50p second. A vote was taken and this was passed. Saltash and Torpoint had cases made for them due to their closeness to Plymouth. This again was voted on and it was decided that the first hour charge would be 30p.

Season Tickets: Another area that had raised concerns from the public and Members. This was due to the completely different policies from the old District Councils. Some of them charged for a years permit equivalent to 59 days of daily tariffs, other areas charged 200. What was decided was the policy would be for a yearly ticket would be equivalent to 100 days first year, rising to 150 in the second. Yes in a lot of places this would rise, but I still think you only pay for 100 to be able to park for 365 days. The alternative was to remove them completely. The numbers that could be affected are around 1000 people.

Reserved Spaces: Now this area caused real concerns, not by Members, but the public. The Panel had asked for a ‘Market’ valuation to be completed on these spaces. That in itself caused many questions as to the criteria for this. Some areas would see a rise from £450 to £1000 after this valuation. I felt (and had the support of the Vice-Chair) that we would change this proposal as I felt it were unfair. I proposed that those areas that were paying the ‘current market value’ would see no rise.  The other areas that were proposed to see a massive rise, sometimes a doubling would only see a 10% rise on there current values. For example Castle Green, Helston would see only 10% and not the rise to £250 from around £64

All these and the other issues will now be presented to Cabinet for their approval. They can of course change all, or any part of these recommendations as my Panel is an advisory only.

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