This report seeks Cabinet approval to a series of changes to the management of on-street car parking.
Councillor Jeff Clarke (Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning) introduced this report and summarised its key elements. He explained that the matter of changes to parking management had been under debate since April 2019 and thanked stakeholders, including district and borough councils, for their input.
Councillor Helen Adkins (Leader of the Labour Group) agreed with the public speaker, Bob Reeve. She considered that the process had been rushed and that there had been insufficient consultation undertaken. She also felt that there was not a strong financial case for increasing charges and that the move to greater online working would result in more problems than it sought to avoid.
Councillor Jerry Roodhouse sought reassurance that the Council would work with communities when developing and implementing the scheme. Engaging with the community sooner would have avoided many of the problems encountered. Councillor Roodhouse suggested that the financial position is now very different to how it was pre-Pandemic. There will be people now who find themselves less able to pay for permits etc than they could before the current crisis.
Councillor Alan Webb considered that the proposal before members eased a lot of peoples’ concerns. It was clear that they had been listened to. He observed that any reorganisation of local government would bring parking services under one roof. This would be welcomed but it would also be useful if parking enforcement could be localised and delivered by local people who understood the area in which they worked.
Councillor Keith Kondakor observed that Nuneaton and Bedworth is very different to Stratford on Avon. People’s capacity to pay for parking is also different. He suggested that the majority of the funding for parking management should come from those who fail to obey the rules ie in fines.
Councillor Nicola Davies thanked the Portfolio Holder and officers for listening to peoples’ concerns. She suggested that any cross-party working group should aim to complete its work prior to the May 2021 election or wait to commence its work after the election.
In response to members’ comments Councillor Clarke stated that the working group will engage with district and borough council colleagues. The working group is required to finalise the details. It is important to ensure that parking management is effective if businesses are to be encouraged back into towns. He denied that the process had been rushed adding that consultation had been underway since 2019. Attempts had been made to be equitable and to work as much as possible with residents. He hoped that the working group would be able to complete its work by may 2021.
A vote was held.
That Cabinet approves:
1) the variation of charges for on-street parking throughout the Civil
Parking Enforcement areas of Warwickshire pursuant to section 46A of
the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 in accordance with the pricing
structure proposed in this report.
2) drafting and consulting on the necessary variation orders pursuant to
sections 45 and 46 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 throughout
the Civil Parking Enforcement areas of Warwickshire to introduce a
virtual permit system and make the other changes to that system
proposed in this report.
3) the maintenance of the current permit pricing scheme.
4) establishing a short-duration Cross-Party Working Group as proposed
in paragraphs 2.45-2.50 to make recommendations as to the future
basis of permit pricing and the opportunities for parking management to
promote environmental sustainability and the visitor and general