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Friday, 03 July 2015

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Idea for street parking meters sparks heated Barrow town hall debate

ENFORCEMENT of controversial on-street parking meters looks set to be carried out by Barrow Borough Council, following a heated town hall debate.

The council already monitors the use of free, time-restricted street parking spaces in the town, along with its car parks.

But Cumbria County Council’s planned introduction of parking meters in parts of some streets has prompted it to review how all on-street parking is enforced.

It has therefore invited Barrow council to submit a price to patrol all the town’s on-street parking charges, including the proposed metered streets, which are still subject to consultation.

Barrow’s executive committee yesterday agreed to push ahead and submit a price by seven votes to one. Executive director Phil Huck told the meeting the council effectively had the choice of “both or nothing”. He said it made sense to retain a single enforcement service – rather than the borough monitoring the car parks and the county monitoring the streets – to avoid public confusion and in terms of efficiency.

He said: “Clearly, on-street parking has been a really controversial issue locally and across the county. But it’s not for us to decide whether or not we want to take part in enforcing on-street charges for meters – it’s whether we want to take responsibility for all on-street parking, because the two are inseparable.”

Barrow council’s present on-street enforcement costs are offset against penalty charges, waivers from contractors and an annual £60,000 underwriting sum from the county council. Based on 2013/14 figures, the enforcement responsibility would save Barrow council £14,960.

Conservative Councillor Alan Pemberton was the lone dissenting voice. He said: “I’m saddened Labour county councillors sat on the fence instead of fighting for our town from word go.

“We’re not a poverty-stricken area, nor an area of deprivation.

“We need to support our hard-working town centre traders and not put obstacles in their way and we should show our support by telling the county council we do not want to participate in this money-grabbing scheme and that our town centre is worth more than £15,000.”

Labour Councillor Ann Thomson responded: “What absolute garbage. You talk about supporting the businessmen, what about your bloody government supporting the poor people in the most deprived areas in this county – they’re not supporting them.

“This doesn’t say we agree or disagree, it says it makes life more sensible for our town centre.”

Have your say

Mr Ray Burns you are spot on.
This issue is in no way unique to Barrow,every Town and City you care to visit you can no way park for free in their centers.If Furness people bothered to read the Newspapers of some of these towns and cities,which I do on a regular basis through my travels,you will find yourself reading the same comments from their locals as you will find in our far superior Evening Mail.I am in no way in support of this extra tax or making excuses for it,just simply pointing out its the same every where you go to a degree.

Posted by Ben. on 3 August 2014 at 10:48

That was a bit muddled tubber. You are attacking Alan Bridges but most of the points you make are the same!

Yes the Council is having to make cuts and raise charges. I don't think any the Councillors really want to do this. If the Tory government cuts funding to Councils, they have to try and balance budgets some how. You can't park for free anywhere in the town centre in Lancaster or Preston or Manchester.

And the issue of town centres is beyond the power of Barrow Council or Cumbria. Ever heard of the internet? I'm sitting at home on the computer and when I've finished this, I'm going shopping without leaving my chair. A few parking meters won't make any difference.

Posted by ray burns on 2 August 2014 at 20:01

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