Two week extension for consultation into huge 433% parking permit price rise
A CONSULTATION on a planned 433 per cent rise in the price of parking permits which was due to end yesterday has been extended for two weeks after only 20 per cent of households responded.
The news came after petitions with hundreds of signatures were handed over to North East Lincolnshire Council (NELC) on Thursday – the day before the original consultation deadline.
As reported, residents in permit parking areas were sent letters in September informing them that the price of a permit would rise from £15 to £80 a year and a second car would cost them an extra £100.
It takes the price of parking two cars from £30 to £180 – a 500 per cent rise, as reported.
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A consultation process giving residents the chance to pay the fee or opt out of the scheme was due to end yesterday, but only 20 per cent of households responded and 70 per cent must agree to the changes or the scheme will be revoked.
As a result, NELC has extended the process until Friday, October 26.
Jason Longhurst, head of development at the authority, said: "We want to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to send their questionnaire back to us. Given the depth of feeling that has been expressed by residents about these changes, we feel it is only fair to give everyone a chance to respond."
The announcement came after petitions with hundreds of names were handed into NELC's Municipal Offices, in protest to the plans.
One petition from the Park Ward Action Group has 100 signatures suggesting they increase the charge to £40 and promise not to raise the price beyond the rate of inflation in the future.
Park Ward Action Group secretary Brenda Dixon said: "Maybe the price does need to rise and we think £40 is a more reasonable starting point.
"We are willing to negotiate but a we need a proper, transparent consultation, not the option to either pay or opt out."
Another group of petitioners collected more than 300 signatures, which have been handed over.
One of the organisers, Paul Marklew, 48, of Earl Street, said: "There's a of a lot of pensioners and young families and they can't find £80 to pay it."
Fellow petitioner Marcus Czarnecki, 48, said: "The West Marsh is one of the most deprived areas in Western Europe. We pay road tax yet the street is filled with the cars of shoppers and commuters and we should not be punished for that."
As well as residents near Cleethorpes and Grimsby town centres, many streets who had requested permit parking near Grimsby's Diana, Princess Of Wales Hospital were also outraged by the plans.
Jay Morgan, 32, said: "There's always staff from the hospital parked in our street and it's narrow so they park on the pavement. I once reversed into one and it was my fault, but it has had an impact on my insurance and if it wasn't there, it would never have happened.
"It would be good to have a permit but I'm not paying £80 for it."
Mike Pickwell, 63, of Cragston Avenue, said: "If it was a reasonable amount we would prefer permit parking, but we will not pay £80. It seems that the rise is designed either to put us off or make money."
Councillor Andrew DeFreitas (Lib, Park) hopes to bring the issue before Cabinet on Monday, November 5 – although residents' old permits expire on Wednesday, October 31.
"I really hope the council can impose some kind of amnesty in the interim period and will be sympathetic to residents who live in the centre of town but are not well off."