The District Council has had a public notice up about the car parking increases and the ending of free Saturday afternoon car parking in council car parks.. It said
If you wish to object to this proposed Order you should state your reasons by email (Legal@Rochford.gov.uk) or in writing to Legal Services by 9th April 2014.
The only legal grounds people on which people could object was on the effect on the public highway – that is, a possible increase in on-street parking and congestion.
Chris Stanley has done just that. With the help of a friend he organised a non-party-political petition in Rayleigh High Street, obtained 500 names pretty easily, and submitted the petition to the council. It says:
We hereby object to item 5 of the above proposal: ‘to introduce parking charges in all car parks on Saturday afternoons, increasing the operational hours from 7 am to 1 pm
to 7am to 7pm’. We note that the purpose of local authority providing parking spaces both off street and on roads is to prevent congestion of traffic. However we consider that this change in the regulation is entirely motivated by financial gain and is a form of taxation of local residents . Furthermore we consider that the primary aim of the provision of car parks to prevent congestion will be frustrated by the change as additional on-street parking will occur in roads close to the town centre, many of which do not have a Saturday afternoon parking ban. For the above reasons we object and call upon the Council not to impose item 5 of their Notice of Proposals dated 19th March 2014.
Chris Stanley says:
“I was delighted at the response of shoppers in Rayleigh High Street. We got over 500 hundred signatures in a few hours. People were actually queuing to put their names to the petition! We are keeping the petition non-political because this price hike seems to offend everyone, we all want to see our town centre continue to prosper but realise that it cannot be taken for granted. I think people will reluctantly accept a parking increase but for the normal charge times, we are are strongly against the extra hours being charged. At present Saturday afternoon is a relaxed time when people can shop, dine or socialise without rushing back for parking tickets. Is the Council so mean spirited that they cannot understand why people value this small exemption? We took the petition to the Council and are now awaiting their response.”