Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Parking permits no longer available from One Stop Shops

The dalek like call of Cornwall's Conservative led Council has been heard again...

"Centralise, centralise, centralise..."

This time, the One Stop Shops are to lose their ability to sell most parking permits. There will be a lot of unhappy motorists as a result.

Previously, the former districts sold different parking permits in different One Stop Shops. Everybody understood the system and it worked very efficiently. If you wanted a new or replacement permit you filled in a form at the OSS, handed over your money and they gave you a parking permit. Simples.

But the Conservative demand for centralisation means that most of these permits will no longer be available from One Stop Shops. Instead, drivers will have to send off to an office in St Austell, adding delay and costs.

I'm more than a little annoyed about this. If a system is working then the Council should leave well alone. Just because we have a unitary authority doesn't mean that different One Stop Shops can't offer slightly different services. It's called localism.

What is even more annoying is that the Council has not yet decided what permits will still be available from One Stop Shops or how permits can be ordered and paid for - despite the changes coming into force in less than a month's time.

I have asked whether current permit holders are being written to. If they are not warned in advance then I know that many hundreds will expect to be able to renew at a One Stop Shop after April 1st. When they find they can't, they will have to send away for a new permit and pay full price for day tickets in the meantime.

It appears that this change is designed for the convenience of the Council at the expense of the resident - a very Tory way of doing things in my opinion.

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