Torbay Labour Party is calling for the new parking charges to be reviewed as a matter of urgency.
Labour Chair, Councillor Darren Cowell, said; “While recognising the importance of income from car parking, we have to be mindful of the real struggle our town centres and local traders are suffering.
“I feel duped by the administration that the increase to tariffs actually agreed at full Council in October was later changed by the Executive Lead for Finance and what was supposed to have been a seasonal tariff morphed in to the one we have now.
“The October council meeting approved a review of tariffs, but I for one did not interpret that as allowing a senior councillor to abolish seasonal tariffs.
“I have asked senior councillors who have been involved in this process to undertake an urgent review of the prices and for the Overview and Scrutiny Board to investigate the whole consultative process. We must investigate how the change in tariffs was allowed to be slipped through without council approval.
“It would appear that there is already a recognition of the problem by £1 all day offer being made available on Saturdays. Of course this is welcome, but more needs to be done.
“Ever since the meters were installed along Torquay sea front there have hardly been any parked cars.
“I have asked the Mayor to ensure car parking policy is included as part of forward plans for the Bay and that we take in to account the issues raised by the Portas report. Our town centres are slowly being strangled by a mix of business rates, out of town shopping, internet and high parking costs. We must do what we can to support our town centre traders.”
Councillor Cowell’s question should be answered by the Mayor at this week’s full council meeting and he awaits replies demanding an urgent review.
Thew question to the Mayor reads as follows:
In light of the Portas Report in to our nation’s town centres and the recent controversy over parking meters and higher fees, will the Mayor accept that a thorough review of Parking fees and strategy should be an integral part of the work being undertaken by the Neighbourhood Planning Forums? And does he agree with me that this important piece of work, that should include an assessment on both the possible financial impact upon car parking income and the economic benefit to trade, could form part of immediate plans for town centre regeneration?Other news from Torbay Labour