Calderdale drop plans to charge for resident parking permits
Calderdale’s Labour councillors have told the Hebden Bridge Web that they welcome the decision by the Council Cabinet to scrap plans to bring in a charge for resident parking permits.
Labour leader Tim Swift, who had called for plans to be dropped last week (see below), said: “We argued that the planned charges for parking permits had been proved to be not only unpopular, but unfair and unworkable. We are pleased that the Cabinet has listened, and decided to drop the proposals.
“However this should not be the end of discussions about parking policy.
“Recent increases in parking charges and in the areas covered by on-street parking charges has created additional pressure on many streets surrounding Halifax town centre. We believe the time is right for a thorough review of the parking policy both in Halifax and across the Borough before any further significant changes are implemented.
“During the budget debate this year, when we were able to block plans which would have led to further large increases in parking charges in April 2008, we argued that a full review was required, and we believe it is essential that this is now launched as quickly as possible.”
Labour says 'no' to charges
The Calderdale Labour Group has called upon on the council cabinet to drop plans for charges for resident parking permits.
Saturday, 2 June 2007
Calderdale's Labour councillors are calling on the Cabinet to scrap plans to bring in a charge for resident parking permits.
"We anticipated the growing public outcry over them; we do not think they are fair as in many cases they impact on people who face parking problems because of the actions of the Council or other agencies; and the evidence is growing that any scheme to make proper provision for visitors and carers will be impossibly bureaucratic.
"The latest Cabinet report would leave residents with a stark choice between accepting the plans for a charge, or scrapping the resident parking scheme. But this is not a realistic choice in many cases, for example in streets close to town centres where there is only limited waiting or pay and display parking for residents.
"The case for this scheme simply has not been made. The predicted income from the scheme is tiny compared with the overall parking budget. We do not accept that the charge is needed to pay for enforcement, as the costs of parking enforcement are supposed to be met by the income from fines.
"Whilst charging for resident parking schemes is fairly common in London, Calderdale would be the first Council in West Yorkshire to introduce such charges. If a Council the size of Leeds, with much greater issues of congestion, does not need to charge, then it is hard to see why it is necessary in Calderdale.
"Recent increases in parking charges and in the areas covered by on-street parking charges has created additional pressure on many streets surrounding Halifax town centre. We believe the time is right for a thorough review of the current parking restrictions in Halifax and in other towns before any further significant changes are implemented."
Cllr Swift tells us that a decision in principle to introduce charges for resident parking permits was included in the Council budget approved in March 2006. Both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat groups included this proposal in their budget; the Conservatives proposed a charge of £25 for the first permit, £50 for a second and £100 for a third; the Liberal Democrats proposed £25, £100 and £200 respectively.
Following publication of the official notices, a report is to be considered by Calderdale's Cabinet on Monday which outlines the number of objections and proposes further changes to the detail of the plans, but still recommends that charges should be introduced.
Hebweb News: Parking options: Garden Street or the Station
Hebweb News: Garden St multistorey car park
Hebden Bridge Web Forum 2007: Residents' parking