Scrapping of parking consultation "puts at risk some of the important infrastructure investments"

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As reported on wilmslow.co.uk yesterday, plans to consult the public over proposals to introduce standardised parking tariffs across the borough and generate over £1.2m in additional income were thrown out by the highways committee on Tuesday, 21st September.

Cheshire East Council was also proposing to introducing parking charges in 8 towns and villages where parking is currently free, including Handforth, at 4 other car parks which are currently free, including the one on Ryleys Lane in Alderley Edge, and for Sunday parking.

However, the highways and transport committee decided not to give the green light for a consultation with members voting by eight votes to five against.

Speaking about the decision, Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council and chair of its highways and transport committee, said: "The committee considered a report on the longstanding sensitive issue of car parking charges, which differ significantly across the borough.

"In the spirit of openness, the report was developed from extensive public consultation, which favoured a more consistent approach to charging and the report proposed further detailed statutory consultation on this issue.

"The proposals were also designed to make car parking charges fairer and 'greener', in accordance with existing local transport plans, the council's balanced medium-term financial strategy and corporate plan priorities, agreed by council in February.

"The committee system involves all councillors in strategic decisions and a majority of the highways and transport committee did not support the proposals. We will reflect on the points raised by members of the committee in considering the next steps.

"In alignment with residents' wishes, identified through our local transport plan consultation in 2020/21, the council wants to invest in electric vehicle charging Infrastructure, as well as in our public transport network, 'active travel' and the regeneration of our towns. However, these things cost money and, as a consequence of the committee's decision, £1.2m will no longer be available to support these investments."

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Comments

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

Rick Andrews
Thursday 23rd September 2021 at 7:32 pm
Incompetent CEC strikes again. About as much use as a chocolate teapot. Is there no coordination?
Nick Jones
Friday 24th September 2021 at 10:50 am
Perhaps they shouldn't have employed 4 new officials if they cant afforded them... Maybe CEC should look inwards for some cost savings and austerity measures before it comes out apportioning blame based on car parking costs... A little selective considering the taxes they collect and the crisis we are coming out of. Come on you can do better than this the reality is prioritising need to have against nice to have.
Stuart Redgard
Friday 24th September 2021 at 10:21 pm
In the days of a "cabinet system", I suspect that the proposal to go out to further consultation would just have been rubber-stamped. But we now have a committee system that enables more democracy and transparency. But I still see that all of the conservative members chose to vote against the recommendation on mass. I wonder why?

There were 13 members of the committee who voted as follows:

FOR
S Akers Smith (Independent)
C Browne (Independent)
B Burkhill (Independent)
L Crane (Labour)
H Faddes (Labour)

AGAINST
M Benson (Conservative)
L Braithwaite (Labour)
A Gage (Conservative)
L Gilbert (Conservative)
M Hunter(Labour)
M Sewart (Conservative)
D Stockton (Conservative)
P Williams (Liberal Democrat)
Simon Rodrigues
Wednesday 29th September 2021 at 4:24 pm
Really….maybe your wages need to be looked at CEC shocking. How many jobs are completed by contractors and invoices paid, i can tell you plenty and work is sub standard. But hey what do you care as long as you get paid and the cheeky bonuses. How many contractors have a link to an employee within the council ?

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