Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Two cheers for Graeme Hicks

Graeme Hicks is the Cabinet Member for Highways and Planning and as such is also responsible for parking. Given my thoughts on most of the things that Cornwall Council's administration comes up with, you might expect me to criticise anything the Graeme says or does. But today Graeme's comments on car parking hit the nail right on the head.

When pressed on the need for car parking charges to be set at the right level to help town centre shops, Cllr Hicks agreed that charges for town centre short term parking should be low enough to encourage people to use town centre shops rather than out of town supermarkets. He said that car parking should not be seen automatically as a revenue raising opportunity.

It is very refreshing to hear this from the cabinet and I hope that the review of all parking charges will come to the same conclusion. In contrast, Andrew Wallis, Chair of the Parking Panel, has a post on his blog which links parking charges directly to revenue raising and demanding that anyone who wants to cut parking charges should be forced to come up with an alternative source of cash.

So two cheers for Graeme Hicks. He can have the third cheer if he manages to steer a sensible review of parking charges through the Cabinet.


Cllr Andrew Wallis said...

As you know Alex, I want parking as cheap as possible. Saying that I also know it has to bring in some revenue. The point is to get the balance right.

Graeme and I both agree that we should encourage Town and Village centre shopping. Hence the reason for the full review this coming year.

You can say we are not in agreement, but we are, and have regular dialogue on this very issue.

As for the issue of getting people to come up with ideas. That's called consultation, engagement and making people fell part of the process.

I have yet to see you at one of the Panel meetings giving your input. Your are most welcome to attend.

Alex Folkes said...

I'm all behind the review and hope that it comes up with sensible conclusions and that Graeme is able to steer these through the cabinet. My only wish is that, in the meantime, parking charges could have been held flat.
I'll certainly be responding to the formal consultation and will come along to a parking panel meeting (or two)

Cllr Andrew Wallis said...

I also wished that there was no rise. The amount of revenue was agree before I took over.

I was unhappy with the proposed pricing. Hence how I came up with the 5%. That better than the 300% rise in some places.

Now we have over a year to get this issue right. It's going to be difficult and emotive.

Saying that, we should not shy from tackling difficult decision and issues.

I shall save you a seat.

Anonymous said...

running a Buisness in the launceston Town is getting harder and harder. hint Parking charges. customers are getting fed up.we should have some free parking during the week.when we had the cold spell i had to leave my Car in the carpark up race Hill because it was like a Iceskating ring. and we pay for that,the council could not even grit it