onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

February 5th, 2014 |

Now There Really Is a Chance To Keep Free Saturday Afternoon Parking

Straight after last week’s council meeting we wrote:

Still A Chance ?

The vote tonight to increase car parking charges AND end free parking on Saturday afternoons was quite close.
It might just be possible to persuade some councillors to switch sides and replace what was passed tonight by a compromise motion, that still increased the charges but kept free Saturday afternoons.

 

So we said a compromise motion might work, and now 9 Tory councillors have followed our lead and signed a motion to bring this back to Full Council!, So there will be another vote on free Saturday afternoon car parking at next Full Council. If their motion is supported by the 7 opposition councillors who voted against last time, that makes a total of 16 out of 39. It could be a very close vote, and a very interesting night…

This is their motion (click on it to enlarge)

motion to rescind

When the same councillors abstained last week, the public reaction was pretty contemptuous. Bringing a motion to council is a very different matter, and should attract more respect. We’ve received a couple of comments tonight regarding the abstentions that we haven’t published yet, and we’ll hold them back in light of this different situation.

Things remain uncertain:
– will the bigwigs in the Tory party concede that they have got this wrong, and agree to this compromise? They’d be wise to do so.
– or will any of the 9 Tories be persuaded by their party whip to back off? They’d look really foolish, though.
– how will the voting go on the night? If the Tory leadership don’t concede, they might still have the numbers to win the vote.

5 Responses to “Now There Really Is a Chance To Keep Free Saturday Afternoon Parking”

  1. 1
    Kristian Ives:

    Am I missing something here? this is not high stakes politics, get a grip please councillors. This is not a tough decision, its about car parking! Free parking on a Saturday afternoon is of benefit to the high street and guess what the local economy. Not sure you can really justify increasing the charges but if that is the compromise you feel you must make then so be it. The argument that the additional revenue will pay for flood prevention when the flood problem is down to poor town plannning is rather ironic in the first place. The cash will just disappear into the coffers and extra money will be needed for something else at some point and again residents, businesses will end up paying for it! To say that I am a frustrated constituent is to put it mildly. The question I have is, more houses = more council tax revenue, more houses going to be built = even more council tax. What is going on, why do we need parking charges increased? where is the money going? forgive the rant and do your job councillors.

  2. 2
    JIM Cripps:

    Kristian – it is no consultation but you are not the only frustrated constituent, and at
    last I think the silent majority are now slowly waking up, hopefully in time for coing elections.

  3. 3
    Chris Black:

    Kristian, you may well be right, maybe we are making too much of a drama out of this. I’m reminded of when I took my wife to her first council meeting many years ago. She sat through the whole thing, and her verdict afterwards was “It’s like watching mice fighting”.

    But I really want this vote to go the right way.

    I’d personally like to see the car parking charges frozen for another year, but I’ll settle now for keeping Saturday afternoons free. The increases were originally floated as a way for the District Council to help with flood prevention – even though the Essex CC are the lead council on this. And then somehow the idea got mutated into increasing council balances.

    The district council DOES face big financial challenges, but it doesn’t have to increase car parking charges. (maybe we should write in more detail about the council’s budget in a separate post)

  4. 4
    The Mighty Oz:

    Kristian,
    Jim is right, although it seems a relatively trivial issue it’s symptomatic of a much wider problem, that is the council, and certain councillors, are riding roughshod over the people that elected them. Our wishes and views seem to count for nothing and it’s leading to a great deal of frustration on the part of the electorate.

  5. 5
    Kristian:

    Thanks for the feedback guys.

    Chris, thanks, I’m very aware that you will be on the right side of the argument. A breakdown of the Council budget would be of huge interest.

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