Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Parking permits - Council in a dither

At today's full Council meeting, I raised the issue of parking permits, specifically the centralisation which means that parking permits are not available direct from local One Stop Shops as they were in most of Cornwall and also the abolition of the North Cornwall Parking Permit that 372 people currently use.

I asked who took the decision on the loss of service at One Stop Shops and was told by Cabinet Member Graeme Hicks that this was an officer decision. Cllr Hicks did, to his credit, appear to admit that this might have been a mistake and he promised that they would be looking at it again.

Later in the meeting, my colleague Sasha Gillard-Loft tried to raise the issue of the North Cornwall permit only for Cllr Hicks to avoid answering citing a constitutional technicality.

So I tried again under yet another agenda item. I got a fairly dismissive answer from the Council Leader saying that the North Cornwall permit no longer exists because NCDC no longer exists. He is totally missing the point. Whether NCDC exists or not, there are 372 drivers in the North Cornwall area who want to be able to use a permit that covers that area - for which they used to pay £170 a year. They don't want to be forced to buy a £1200 Cornwall wide permit which allows them to park for free in St Ives or Penzance.

Graeme Hicks was on his feet to answer me properly but was not allowed to speak by the Chairman.

This is an issue which we will not let go of. Lots of people locally rely on the North Cornwall permit and there seems no reason that it has been abolished - certainly not without proper member accountability.

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