Parking ideas are that – ideas for discussion
WITH reference to your articles on car parking (February 12), I would like to clarify a number of points for readers so they're able to understand the council's position.
As readers will be aware, the council's two key priorities are stimulating jobs growth and protecting vulnerable people, but we are striving to do this in particularly challenging and difficult financial times.
The car parking paper presented to the scrutiny panel your reporter attended was just that – a working paper for discussion, not a strategy, with a range of different options.
It was produced by officers who were asked to come up with various ideas to support our parking regime – at NELC we encourage our officers to come up with ideas to tackle the financial and other challenges we face from national Government.
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But I'm happy to assure your readers of several points:
The council has no plans to increase car parking charges by an overall 50 per cent or to introduce charges at free council-owned car parks.
We are fully committed to ensuring blue badge holders are not charged for parking in designated parking spaces; we would fully consult disabled groups over any changes we were even considering.
However, in terms of any potential sell-off under-utilised car parks, that's part of a drive to be a smaller and smarter council – there's no point keeping car parks where not enough drivers are parking in them and we may be able to better use, or even sell the asset.
We are hugely sympathetic with the need to balance revenue against any loss of trade for local shops and businesses throughout the area, but your readers can be assured that despite these being tough times that NELC and other local authorities are facing financially, we will continue to ensure the decisions we take are best for the residents, communities and businesses in the area.
Councillor Chris Shaw, leader, North East Lincolnshire Council.
The Telegraph says
What should be the priorities of a council facing millions in cuts? Protecting people and services against keeping charges down?