Parking permit hike in North East Lincolnshire will happen in 2013
A CONTROVERSIAL 433 per cent rise in the cost of residents only parking permits will come into force in the new year.
Councillors yesterday rejected a plea by residents not to hike the annual price of a permit from £15 to £80 – sparking an angry reaction from the public at yesterday's Cabinet meeting.
One resident heckled cabinet member Peter Wheatley as he attempted to justify the steep increase, while ward councillor Christina McGilligan-Fell (Lib Dem, Park) launched an angry broadside at Cabinet members before storming out of the meeting.
As reported, two petitions were started in opposition to the new charges – one by residents in the Park ward, another by residents in the West Marsh.
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Marcus Czarnecki, speaking on behalf of the West Marsh petitioners, told the meeting that residents had been "inflamed" by the "pay up or lose it" ultimatum issued to them by the council.
He said: "I really believe there has been no proper consultation with the end-users. There is no indication that a smaller price increase was ever considered.
"We would like a full consultation with all the residents to look at the general affordability of this scheme."
Councillor Andrew De Freitas, speaking on behalf of Park ward petitioners, claimed that the increase would "persecute" motorists and force the collapse of existing schemes, creating parking "chaos" in the town centre.
He admitted that under his leadership, the council should have increased the charge from £15, but said £80 was unreasonable.
He added that income received from parking fines should be used to pay for residents parking schemes.
Councillor Wheatley, the portfolio holder for regeneration and environment said at 40 pence per day, the new price represented "pretty good value for money".
He added that the new scheme would provide enhanced enforcement, which he said had previously been "haphazard".
This prompted council leader Chris Shaw to suggest that residents had been paying for a service they had not been receiving.