Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Cornwall parking income frozen

Cornwall Council's cabinet has voted today to freeze parking income for the coming year. That's a great result and was against the recommendation of the new cabinet member Bert Biscoe.

Cllr Biscoe and colleagues Mark Kaczmarek, Neil Burden and Lance Kennedy had wanted a rise in income of 3.2% which would have led to minimum 10p rises in charges.

The plea being made by officers and those in favour of a rise was that the council needs the money in order to provide other services. But the council has never made its parking budget - they are just numbers on a piece of paper. Last year the council fell short by £3 million and had to be bailed out twice from other funds resulting in delays to road safety work.

And as the Launceston season ticket trial has proved, you can actually make more money by cutting charges.

So I'm delighted that the freeze should be agreed. Cornwall Council still needs to take a serious look at parking charges. Is it meant to be a business or a service? And should charges be set from Truro or should there be a more local set up which listens to the concerns of local councillors, businesses and residents. This year the council refused even to come to Launceston to a meeting set up to discuss this issue locally.

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