Council U-turn on resident parking permit price hike

  Posted: 09.10.20 at 12:55 by David Lawrence, Local Democracy Reporter

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Planned resident parking permit price hikes across Warwickshire have been scrapped after a U-turn by the county council.

A proposal to move guesthouse visitor parking online has also been shelved and a cross-party working group is being set up to look at charges going forward.

The announcements came during yesterday's (Thurs) Warwickshire County Council cabinet meeting.

A report prepared ahead of the meeting admitted that although there had been a period of public consultation last summer when all 17,000 Warwickshire permit holders were contacted, just 15 percent responded.

And, when the price increases and other changes were considered by the council’s own communities overview and scrutiny committee earlier this year, many were criticised.

Coun Jeff Clarke (Con, Nuneaton East), portfolio holder for transport and planning, updated the meeting on the changes to on-street parking.

Council car parks are controlled by the various district and borough councils.

He said: "There is no increase in the charge for residents - permits will stay at £25 per permit.

"We have only had one rise since the introduction in 2007.

"There will be a small increase in pay and display charges and we are returning to the linear parking charges which we had previously and which found a lot of favour.

"Guesthouse visitor parking will remain unchanged."

Labour group leader Coun Helen Adkins (Leamington Willes) said: "This process has been rushed from the start and I'm not sure that the consultation process that has happened has made up for that.

"There is a lack of responses so to base our decisions on that is problematic."

Her comments were echoed by Liberal Democrat group leader Coun Jerry Roodhouse (Eastlands) who added: "If there had been more communication with the communities and we had worked with them we would probably have saved a lot of time and probably quite a lot of officer money involved in this.

"Everyone recognises that things will have to change at some stage but I think we can only do that by talking to people."

The report explained how the parking permits would be moved online next year.

It said: "The provision of a digital online process has been identified as a move towards greater efficiency.

"There was some criticism of the proposal from respondents who had no access to the internet.

"Analysis shows that this was a fairly common comment from elderly respondents.

"Our approach, as outlined in the consultation documentation, is to provide a phone and postal service to manage the small number of permit holders to whom this applies.

"It is proposed to formally consult upon the introduction of the online digital permitting system.

"The introduction would be from the start of the next financial year."

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