Blocking cars from parking on Memorial Garden

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The influx of visitors to the Carrs Park over this Covid summer has caused significant issues with the car park being unable to cope with demand.

This has unfortunatey resulted in street parking, pavement parking and even parking on part of the Memorial Garden.

Wilmslow Town Council says it will continue to encourage the enforcement of parking restrictions in the Cliff Road area, however enforcement powers are not in their hands.

The Town Council has however decided that the parking on the Memorial Garden needs to stop and agreed at its meeting on Monday, 21st September to introduce floral planters at the entrance to the gardens to prevent unwanted vehicle access and enhance the environment by adding to the floral planters around the town.

Martin Watkins, Chairman Wilmslow Town Council, said "The parking on Cliff Road and in particularly on the pavement presents a danger to pedestrians and an even greater danger to wheelchair users. Once again I call on the appropriate authorities to take action in resolving this problem. Whilst our powers are limited I am delighted that the Town Council has agreed to deter the parking on the Memorial Garden which we simply can't allow to continue."

Tags:
Memorial Garden, Wilmslow Memorial Gardens
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Diane Walker
Friday 25th September 2020 at 6:21 pm
Wilmslow Town Council are as bad as CEC.....!!
John Higgins
Friday 25th September 2020 at 7:10 pm
Diane. What is the reason for your comment. Please can you explain.
Chris Neill
Friday 25th September 2020 at 8:03 pm
Isn't anti social parking , traffic , bad , thoughtless driving, a constant and daily issue in our town?
Why doesn't someone in authority stamp on it and fix it for good. It's blighting the town and daily lives of the majority of residents who suffer.
If coppers were given electric bikes, they could go around the locality and issue tickets, advise thoughtless drivers and make the place better, and maybe pick up some petty crime before it happens by just being on the street.
Added to that , Councillors who allow building permission to be given without realistic provision for parking, or who won't do anything about providing suitable public parking in this square mile, should be ashamed at their lack of care for a town and its residents which they suppose to represent.
Toni Fox
Saturday 26th September 2020 at 11:00 am
Chris,

How many police does Wilmslow have and how would you suggest that the electric bikes are manned, paid for, and maintained, within the forces current annual budget?
How would you suggest that Councillors stop building permission being given if planning applications meet the Councils Car Parking Standards?
Where do you suggest additional public parking is provided in the Town and who would you suggest should pay for the purchase of the land and the necessary infrastructure within the Councils current budget?

As a Wilmslow Ward Councillor for Dean Row since 2015 doing by utmost for my residents I would be very interested in hearing your considered answers.

I would suggest that it would be far simply, and cheaper, if those partaking in "anti social parking , traffic , bad , thoughtless driving" simply stopped and gave more thought and consideration to others.

Councillor Toni Fox
Roger Thawley
Saturday 26th September 2020 at 12:53 pm
As far as I can recall, parking on the grassed area adjacent to the memorial gardens hasn't been a problem in the past, so I find myself wondering if, given the current unusual circumstances, people are getting wound up about an issue which is likely to just go away, once the weather is less clement and some normality returns to life. Certainly, during the dry period, which brought a significant increase in use of the local park, little in the way of damage was caused ...the ground was dry and solid.

The grassed area in question is largely subordinate to the gardens themselves. Are people, perhaps, being uncharitable during what, for many, has been a difficult time?

....and to be clear, for the benefit of people who might otherwise make comment about parking on Cliff Road, that's not a topic on which I'm commenting.
David Smith
Sunday 27th September 2020 at 9:09 am
I posted this back in July - but here it is again:

“I was in Wilmslow the other day and happened upon two 'traffic wardens' [I just forget what we call them now] and stopped to have a chat. Firstly, I THANKED them for their work in helping to maintain some aspirational order on our streets and penalise those whose selfish 'motoring' behaviour is getting up the noses of many who are more considerate. We then had a discussion about parking and I asked them for clarity on certain issues. Double yellow lines came up and in particular the fiasco that has evolved on Cliff Road down by the Carrs. It was explained to me that where double yellow lines are in the road and prohibit parking a vehicle IN THE ROAD then there also exists a prohibition on the other side of the double yellow lines extending onto the pavement as far as the boundary with private land. So we don't need any more laws or lines or anything else to allow these vehicles ON THE PAVEMENT to be penalised. The problem is amongst the Muppets that have control of our daily lives around here and can't seem to get a grip and impose the rules that apparently already exist.”

I am sure the CEO’s [Community Enforcement Officers - Traffic Wardens to anyone like me who still prefers the previous title] knew their stuff and I’m sure that I didn’t misunderstand what they said, so if that is the case no new rules or regulations are required to stop parking on the memorial grass. If there are double yellow lines in the gutter, the parking ban also extends ONTO the pavement and also BEYOND until private land is reached. I suppose if the memorial grass is ‘owned’ by the council [the residents of Wilmslow] that would therefore qualify as ‘private land’.

Please can some qualified person publicly state here in a reply whether this restriction of parking either side of a double yellow line is correct and how such a rule would apply to the memorial grass situation? Then we can all know you cannot park in this manner and shouldn’t complain when you are booked for so doing.
Thanks.

PS: If you are opposed to the selfish parking on our streets, please stop our CEO's [TW's] when you next meet them and express a level of gratitude for the work they do.
PPS: As far as I am concerned, there should be zero parking on a pavement - not even a SINGLE wheel. Pavements are for pedestrians and if they all started walking in the road, motorists would soon be complaining at having to drive at 2.5 mph! I mean it’s bad enough having those ‘pesky’ cyclists getting in the way doing 22mph. Well many of them wouldn’t be a nuisance if their cycle lanes hadn’t been turned into car parks by selfish motorists.
Jon Williams
Sunday 27th September 2020 at 9:40 am
So cyclist are Pesky are they David (causing trouble; annoying), a bit like some people on here.
Chris Neill
Sunday 27th September 2020 at 1:24 pm
Toni,
I agree with your last paragraph, but a lot of people don't do it and will continue to blight the lives of others who do.
As for budgets , the country is recruiting 20,000 more police. Great, I hope we are allocated a couple, and with bikes.
What comes over strongly is that there is an ongoing vehicle issue in the town, and I feel we are constantly let down by those in control who will not go the extra mile to address it. " Who pays for public parking ?" " planning meets Car parking standards"
Whatever these statements are feebly attempting to say, there is a problem and it's not being addressed properly. The wider , longer term picture is ignored for short term fixes. More building, no parking provision to compensate whatsoever, more traffic problems. Is that ok , and where will it be in 10 years time?
David Hoyle
Sunday 27th September 2020 at 7:53 pm
The police have the power to have vehicles causing an obstruction to be towed away.In wilmslow they don't do it. Why?
Toni Fox
Monday 28th September 2020 at 1:07 am
Chris,

I share your frustration, really I do, but Cheshire East Council, along with all Local Authorities, in reality, are not the ones 'in control'. Government controls legislation and the financial resources it provides to Local Authorities.

Increasingly Government passes on more responsibility, they devolve 'powers' - which is increasingly what residents want anticipating that this will resolve local issues - however, Government doesn't pass on the finances that they used to support them.

This inevitably passes the blame for a lack of delivery on to Local Authorities who are forced to try and stretch their already limited resources to meet the additional responsibilities.

Government wants more building 'build, build, build' - houses and commercial, at whatever cost judging by their latest proposals for changing the planning regulations - to re-start the economy. Parking and congestion are very low down on the list of considerations, if mentioned at all.

"but a lot of people don't do it and will continue to blight the lives of others who do."

People have to start taking responsibility for their own actions and how their actions affect others. Sadly, it is unrealistic to expect that the Police, or Local Authorities, given their limited resources, will be able to fulfill this function going forward given the other obligations they are required to meet - according to current legislation.

Toni Fox
Chris Neill
Monday 28th September 2020 at 11:10 am
Thanks Toni, and I appreciate the feedback. So we just leave it then and let it get worse. No surely not. There are a number of issues involved in this and in the interests of the local population it is a priority, even though , to the Government , it isn't. It is to us, so it matters.
I really don't understand how we can give planning a free run without making provision for parking.
As to people sticking to their social responsibility in this , most do, but those who don't should be checked by the police and issued serious fines which will help pay for the service, and they will stop. But we can't just leave it . Here's a classic example....planning has been given to knock down the garages on Buckingham rd and build two houses which will overlook the plumbers merchants, an existing parking mad house for deliveries etc. This plot currently allows parking for up to 50 cars, local businesses, workers etc. When this goes , the developer will trouser a nice profit , and 5 or 6 people may occupy the 2 houses. Where will 50 cars and their occupants now go? They will all be directly affected as will all the people who will have daily disputes with cars, vans and trucks , parking either badly, or outside their homes, drives etc. So what's the point here? Create a couple of houses for the benefit of half a dozen interested parties, or preserve the order for the majority of people and the community? It will get worse unless we make it a priority in spite of the government.
Mark Russell
Monday 28th September 2020 at 4:39 pm
Toni, we can’t just throw our hands in the air and say it’s too hard. People are employed to deal with parking infringements. What do they do? When do they do it. Where do they do it? Why no towing? Park like that in the city and your car is gone. Quite easy to sort Toni, as for people taking responsibility, why don’t you or your colleagues do just that?
Toni Fox
Monday 28th September 2020 at 7:35 pm
I'm afraid I cannot answer questions on behalf of the Police however I will try and answer some of the other points raised.

The Council has a limited number of parking enforcement officers who necessarily have to cover large geographical areas. Urban LA's generally cover much smaller city areas, in addition to which they receive more funding per head from Government than rural LA's, like Cheshire East. It is also not a very popular job, the Council struggles to recruit to replace officers who leave which means that there are regularly vacancies and the service is understaffed.

On a more positive note pre-covid the Council had a scheduled programme where officers visited and engaged with school children across the borough about parking, hoping that they would pass on what they had learnt to their parents and endeavouring to encourage the next generation to abide by the law and to be considerate to others.

I was one of the residents in 2004 who blocked the entrance to The Carrs car park to office workers who were using it to park for the day, for free, leaving no spaces for genuine users of the park, the playground, or the Parish Hall. It wasn't pleasant, there was a lot of verbal abuse and intimidation, but it did have an effect and it made people think about their actions and the impact it was having on others.

Ultimately this joint action by local residents led to the Friends of the Carrs group being formed and the implementation of the ticket machine and restricted parking hours in the car park.

Sometimes residents leading in taking action can help enormously in achieving the desired result.

I have argued long and hard that an appropriate amount of parking should be provided for each new development. Planning applications have been refused by the Council because the parking being proposed did not meet the Councils Car Parking Standards (which I personally would like to see increased). When these decisions are Appealed however Planning Inspectors take a very different view and have been known to award costs against the Council for its 'unreasonable' decision.

There is a misconception that the fault always lies with the Council. I will freely acknowledge that sometimes it does - particularly some of the decisions made pre the election in 2019 - but more often it actually doesn't when you scratch below the surface.

Councillor Toni Fox
Chris Neill
Monday 28th September 2020 at 9:14 pm
So the Police can't do anything, the wardens are strapped for cash, and there's nothing the Council can do. You,re right about public pressure , as was proven during the ridiculous period when cars and vans were dangerously parked all over the place from Sainsburys to the Kings Arms. The only action was from right minded locals who daily provided cones to defer the mayhem.
It's the Wild West. Except,it costs the good guys a lot in rates, and they still have to fix it themselves, while the bad guys take more land, build whatever they want, and the Sherriff stays out of the way playing poker in the saloon.
Rick Andrews
Tuesday 29th September 2020 at 8:56 am
Unfortunately, the more houses built means more people and cars. Wilmslow reached capacity for pleasant living about 10 to 15 years ago when the town centre and the former RAF camp were filled with offices and houses with no thought about services and parking. And still they are allowed to build. The only winners are the property companies - although their fortunes may change with the shift to working from home. Look out for many applications for change of use from offices to apartments- and more parking problems.
David Smith
Tuesday 29th September 2020 at 9:44 am
JON WILLIAMS:
I'll be kind and say that your lack of appreciation and understanding of the subtleties of the written English language has enabled you to comment without thinking and incorrectly taken the view that I believe cyclists to be PESKY. My using single quotation marks is to isolate the word PESKY so as to emphasise that those who regard them as such are the drivers stuck behind them at 22mph and who would rather be going faster. My following and final statement should make it clear that I support the plight of cyclists whose exclusive part of the highway [the cycle lane] is often used by motorists as a car park! Well it has been, for MANY years now, all along Manchester Road. If you accept my explanation I'll forgive you.
Mark Goldsmith
Tuesday 29th September 2020 at 1:47 pm
Chris

The Memorial Gardens and Cliff Road parking problems have nothing to do with town centre parking issues. The town centre issues have largely abated since the lock down, so I am not sure why you are trying to link them to this story.

However, the two areas near The Carrs suffer on sunny days (usually at a weekend), when the park becomes a big attraction to visitors. Many are from outside Wilmslow for a day out, who see the car park is full but spot the nearby pavement and grass strip. Despite signs, they think it is okay to use these spaces and soon the area is covered in illegally parked cars. Usually, they receive a parking ticket but next week a new influx of visitors come and the same problem occurs. Parking fines are set by the government, so we cannot issue any for higher amounts either.

Having a rapid response team on scooters, ready to swoop in and ticket these cars would be great if it wasn't such fanciful nonsense. Wilmslow will never get the resource to make it happen. When the government announced 20,000 extra policemen for the 43 police forces in England & Wales, Cheshire Police could of expected 450 extra officers. However, they will only get 60 of them. It is deemed not to need more because we are a low crime county. Wilmslow will get none of the new 60 either, for exactly the same reasoning. Good luck with getting this changed, when other areas have rampant street and knife crime and we are lobbying to switch resources away from them to fix our summer weekend parking problem. Ultimately, we are lucky to live in a low crime community but we have a tiny police resource to maintain it.

Given this, Wilmslow Town Council has come up with an effective and low cost way to stop the parking problem. Although Cliff Road is not on my ward, WTC has also agreed to my request to put several cast-iron, ornamental bins on the Cliff Road pavement. Planters are not suitable for Cliff Road as it is in permanent shade, so nothing will grow there. However, the new bins should help stop the illegal parking and on busy days, the bins inside The Carrs have overflown with waste, so they will help with this problem too.

Therefore, at a cost of a few hundred pounds to permanently fix the problem that only recently started, I think the council deserves your praise, not your criticism on this one.


Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Wilmslow West & Chorley
Gillian Slater
Tuesday 29th September 2020 at 7:24 pm
I think some people ought to be trapped in a wheelchair for a year or two before enlightening excusing the parking on pavements anywhere. I believe the disability act in 1988 or so had the ramps built on Main Street pavements. Disregarding the parking laws has increased of late as there are more cars on the market. Also it is apparent that some drivers don't give two hoots about parking on pavements noticeably outside Tesco Express.
Chris Neill
Wednesday 30th September 2020 at 7:05 am
Mark, the gardens issue is part of the whole thing, i.e antisocial parking, not enough provision or prevention. Mr Andrews earlier comments are right, we had a building moratorium around then. I also agree with Gillian Slater who highlights the problem. The planters are a great idea, so one problem pocket solved with creative thinking....next?
Yvonne Howson
Wednesday 30th September 2020 at 2:12 pm
Mark, in response to your comment, the parking on Cliff Rd is not a new problem, it has been happening for many years, every summer. I hope placing bins on the path help the solution. The residents have suggested from day one that something to deter illegal and dangerous parking is the answer but were powerless to get anyone to act. If this is not implemented, someone will be injured or killed due to selfish pavement parkers. I wonder if Cliff Rd is on the wrong side of Wilmslow for our Councillors to care?
Simon Atkins
Wednesday 30th September 2020 at 2:52 pm
The solution is really simple and cheap and requires next to no maintenance. Stick a small fence around the gardens. simples.
David Smith
Thursday 1st October 2020 at 8:09 am
I think you've all heard enough of what I have to say - but in reply to SIMON ATKINS a fence can get broken and need on-going maintenance but a row of large [say half ton] rocks from a quarry would be difficult to move out of the way and fit in reasonably well with the landscape. I suppose there will be someone with a reason that it cannot be done.
Toni Fox
Friday 2nd October 2020 at 2:00 pm
Yvonne,

Wilmslow has 5 Cheshire East Council ward councillors covering 5 separate areas of Wilmslow.

Each Councillor was elected by the residents living in their ward area to represent them, assist with enquiries and assist with ward issues.

Similarly Councillors of Wilmslow Town Council were elected by residents within the wards that they represent.

Your ward councillor is Councillor Don Stockton and your Wilmslow Town Council representative Viveene Brooks. I am sure they will be happy to discuss the measures they are taking over and above those highlighted by Councillor Goldsmith.
David Smith
Sunday 4th October 2020 at 4:02 pm
Second thought about the cast iron [= HEAVY} bins to be placed on the pavement. How long before they end up in the road and cause an accident or get damaged and so have to be chucked away. Could be a waste of money in the end.
Keep thinking of solutions everyone. That's what we are for.

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