Parking decision challenged by councillors

By Emily Pearce

Thursday, July 17, 2014

 

*UPDATE: 12:44

A CONTROVERSIAL decision to scrap free parking at several Isle of Wight Council car parks has been challenged.

Three councillors have called in the decision to axe free parking at Appley and Puckpool, The Heights and Medina Leisure Centres, Carisbrooke, Wootton, Seaview and Totland, which was approved by the council executive last week despite widespread objections.

Independent Cllr Bob Blezzard, who signed the call in notice with fellow Independent Cllr Roger Whitby-Smith and Conservative Cllr Stuart Hutchinson, said the council had failed to adequately consult residents and businesses.

The call in notice will now be considered by the council's scrutinycommittee and members could recommend theexecutive reconsiders its original decision.

"We are not convinced the case has been made in terms of how much income this will generate. It's just a guesstimate, and it's not going to make a dent in the £28m we have to save over the next three years. There was a huge amount of objection to these plans and those views seem to have been completely disregarded," he said.

Executive members heard last week the parking increases would save £256,000 a year, but that figure included extending the chargeable hours from 6pm to 8pm, which was not approved.

The decision to scrap free afternoon parking in some towns has also been called in, but an increase parking charges at all council car parks has not. It was felt the increase in short-stay charges of between 30p and 50p were acceptable, said Cllr Blezzard.

For more on this story, please see the Isle of Wight County Press, on Friday, July 18.

*A special meeting of the scrutiny committee will be held on Wednesday, July 23 to discuss the call in. The meeting is due to start at 6pm.

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