To receive a report from the Car Parking Working Group and to consider making recommendations to the Cabinet regarding proposed Pay & Display charges.
The Group had before it a report * from the Deputy Chief Executive and Group Manager for Street Scene & Open Spaces providing it with an update from the Car Parking Working Group on proposals for new Pay & Display charges.
The Chairman of the Working Group, Cllr R Evans, outlined the contents of the report and the approach that the working group had taken. This had been the first review of car parking charges in three years. He thanked the officers on behalf of the Working Group for their hard work in pulling together all of the relevant data.
He stated that car parking was an important income stream for the Council whilst also emphasising that significant consideration had been given to the effect upon Mid Devon residents and visitors. Maintaining consistency across the district had also been an important factor as well as considering the effect of any changes upon local businesses. The working group had considered at length ‘the offer’ in each town and associated car park charges. He explained further that many businesses had complained about the lack of ‘dwell time’ within each town as a result of the current 30 minutes free parking.
The Working Group had had lengthy discussions about the charges relating to the Multi Storey Car Park in Tiverton and had agreed at an early stage that there needed to be a different offer across long stay car parks. A recurring factor continually emerged throughout their discussions in that there was very little up take on the annual permits offered by the Council which provided a significant annual discount.
They had considered each individual car park in turn and reference was made to the subject of their discussions in the attached meeting notes to the report. A significant proportion of their considerations had been focussed on overnight parking in the car parks of each town. Residents in Cullompton particularly were finding it increasing problematic to park outside of their own properties because of the number of non-residents parking their cars on-street and not using nearby car parks. Because of this the Working Group had proposed to reduce the overnight parking permit to £100 as a one off annual payment, or payable by £10 a month for those people opting to pay by monthly direct debit. This equated to approximately 28p per day which was considered to be excellent value for money.
Therefore the Working Group felt that they had given significant thought to the businesses in each of the towns by potentially increasing dwell time whilst also considering the effect upon local residents and offering significant value for money especially when considering the charges made by other towns in the local area.
Discussion took place regarding:
· It was very difficult to predict what the take up of the newly priced permits would be. Advertising of the new permits would take place as it had done previously, for example, on the reverse of each Council Tax bill.
· A report was going to be presented to the Cabinet at its next meeting regarding the costs associated with the maintenance programme for the Multi-Storey Car Park (MSCP) in Tiverton, these costs were not insignificant. However, it was felt that these proposed charges in relation to the MSCP appeared to be out of kilter with those proposed for long stay car parks in Crediton and Cullompton. It was explained however that the MSCP offered an undercover car park that would be well maintained with CCTV security. The associated costs of such a provision had to be factored into the cost of parking vehicles there. Again, the overriding wish of the Working Group was that regular users of the MSCP, such as workers within the town, would choose the option of the discounted permit to park their cars within the MSCP.
· The new proposed car parking charges would need to be advertised well in advance of being implemented and before that would need to go out for consultation. Businesses needed to encourage their employees to purchase annual permits.
RECOMMENDED to the Cabinet that:
a) The proposed new tariffs for each of the council owned car parks in Mid Devon be approved as detailed in the annexe to the Working Group report;
b) Overnight parking permits be altered to offer greater value for money for local residents and that the annual one off charge be set at £100. To also approve an option to pay by monthly direct debit at £10 per month with a one month cancellation period.
(Proposed by Cllr A Wyer and seconded by Cllr R F Radford)
Notes: (i) * Report previously circulated; copy attached to the signed minutes.
(ii) A proposal to consider reducing the proposed fees in the MSCP was not supported.
(iii) Cllr N V Davey requested that his vote against the decision be recorded.