Conservative councillors say parking charges rethink needed

The Conservative group of councillors join the opposition to proposed changes to parking charges.

The Thinker:

This in from Chris Whitehouse, in his own words. Ed


The Conservative Group of 15 members of the Isle of Wight Council is calling for an urgent rethink and review of recent changes to parking charges and free parking periods right across the Island.

Speaking today, Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Dave Stewart, says:

“The changes to parking arrangements brought in by the Independent Administration on the Island are going horribly wrong. Town center businesses face an adverse impact on their trade, residents face increased costs and great inconvenience, and what is more there is a real risk that revenues will go down because of mistakes that have been made in the administration of new visitors’ parking permits.

“During the debate on the Council’s Budget in March, I asked for an urgent strategic review of parking to make sure the Independents weren’t making serious mistakes with their plans. That review was agreed, but has simply not happened. It should now do so as a matter of urgency.”

Cllr Julie Jones-Evans spoke about the impact on Newport businesses adding:

“I have been urging the current administration for the past year to have an overview of the parking strategy. This was one of the main reasons I voted against the budget in March. Newport contributes 25% of all parking revenue and many of my residents have to park in IWC controlled areas. To inflict further financial pain onto residents and shoppers by increasing not only the hourly charge but by charging till 8pm is in my mind usury. The night time economy will be particularly affected, as people will have to pay on the High Street and car parks after 6pm if they want to eat out or go to the theatre. This is short sighted and unnecessary.“

Cllr Wayne Whittle highlighted fundamental errors in the way visitors’ permits are marketed:

“Visitor permits are currently being bought by islanders who travel to the mainland to shop or have a day out as they are £1.70 cheaper for two days and £6.40 cheaper for a week, this saving will increase when car park pay and display prices go up in the near future. Visitor permits should be sold to visitors via accommodation and Solent travel booking agencies and printed off like e-tickets at no expense to the Council, with an electronically readable bar code, compatible with the current scanning equipment. Instead they are advertised and sold from adverts over pay and display machines in our car parks. Both the pricing structure and the marketing are simply bonkers. An urgent review is vital.”

Cllr Stuart Hutchinson talked about the problems faced with the Moa Place car park in Freshwater:

“The loss of the free half hour badly affects all the local shops and businesses. There is almost no on-street parking nearby and people will not pay a pound to park if all they want is a newspaper or a bottle of milk. Elderly residents popping in to the surgery to collect their free prescription will now have to pay a pound every time to get it. Locals are so against the proposal that a petition started by a local resident a few days ago already has over 1500 signatures”

Cllr John Hobart, who has been leading a campaign to avoid the imposition of charges on the Carisbrooke High Street car park says:

“Our local church, high street shops and many voluntary groups are really threatened by the imposition of the charges. They will suffocate our local economy.”

And Cllr Chris Whitehouse, Conservative Group Secretary, called on residents and businesses to lobby the council saying:

“Serious mistakes have been made across the piece by the Independents. Residents, businesses, churches and voluntary groups affected should speak out and contact the Leader of the Council, Ian Stephens, demanding that he now urgently deliver the review of the plans that was promised. By contrast the previous conservative administrations at County hall didn’t increase charges or reduce free parking for six years! We can stop this madness if we all act now, before it is too late.”

Image: sigfridlundberg under CC BY 2.0

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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18 Comments on "Conservative councillors say parking charges rethink needed"

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Colin

Coming from the bunch that have screwed us for parking for years I’d say pot, kettle and black.

steve s

Great to see the Conservative Councillors getting involved in the consultation which runs until 6 June.
Their seats are still open on the policy advisory committees if they ever decide to engage fully in the process.

Cynic

(per CW) “By contrast the previous conservative administrations at County hall didn’t increase charges or reduce free parking for six years!”

Is that actually true or historical revisionism through blue-tinted PR spectacles?

Cynic

I suggest that CW reviews Delegated Decision 19/10 taken by Edward Giles on 20 April 2010 “THAT fees and charges are increased and new charges as set out in paragraphs 7, 14, 17 and in the appendices to the report, are introduced”

(AFAIK 2014-2010 = Four years not six as claimd.)

Cynic

…. and 2013-2010 only three years not six.

Nitonia

Typical rubbish from the Tories. Is this the best they can do?

Frankly it’s hilarious that they claim one thing and it’s quickly proven to be wrong.

CB500

Steve. Party politics aside are you going to stand up for the outlying town of Ventnor and vote against these changes? If you want to save £100K why not brick up the heavily subsidised harbour? Weird that it’s cheaper to park the odd boat than a car!

Albert Street

Or clawback th £500, 000 given to the DMO.

The ploy of getting the Conservatives to be part of this decision has not fooled anyone.

davidwalter
As far at the residents (and our visitors) are concerned the party political shenanigans can take a flying jump on this issue. People want to hear that the increased charges are NOT going to take place. People couldn’t care less who did or said what up to a decade ago. Jeeez…..can’t they just listen to the public and act instead of having a private bun-fight? Councillors of… Read more »
milly

Raising parking fees are a clumsy way of raising revenue.Politically it tends to have adverse effects too.

Steve Goodman
It might be useful to hear what the Conservatives have to say about the Conservative government’s cuts which resulted in all this bother over our income & expenditure. It might also have helped us to get through these hard times if the Conservatives hadn’t restricted our money management choices by lumbering us with long term inflexible PFI debts. We are in trouble; the books don’t balance, people… Read more »
davidwalter

I can’t see how the Euro elections on 22nd May or voting ‘green’ is going to make a jot of difference to charging in our car parks. Knowing the greens, they probably love taxing the motorist, I would have thought?

Stewart Blackmore

Is Chris Whitehouse still a Tory?

davidwalter

Chris was a Tory last Friday. Do you know something we don’t?

Stewart Blackmore

Nope :)

peteiow

Oh dear Whitehouse gets another battering trying to jump on another bandwagon, when will he learn?

Steephill Jack

Would you buy PR from this man ?

Cynic

Presumably the apparently very successful PR consultancy does not encourage its clients to use a “anything-(including-risking–egg-on-the-face)-in-pursuit-of-a-namecheck” PR tactic? :-))