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Friday, 29 May 2015

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Saying no to meters plan will not stop it, Barrow councillors claim

BARROW Borough Council looks set to become the authority to enforce the on-street parking meters which have attracted widespread criticism.

Unlike others in the county, Barrow council already monitors the use of free, time-restricted street parking spaces in the town, along with its car parks. It has now been invited to enforce the proposed on-street parking charges on behalf of Cumbria County Council, which plans to introduce the meters.

Under the arrangement, 2013/14 figures show Barrow council would save around £15,000 a year by doing the work. Councillors on the Barrow council’s executive committee will meet on Wednesday and have been recommended to vote in favour of enforcing the meters.

The county council’s local Barrow committee last week agreed to start consultation over proposals to put £1.50 per hour parking meters in sections of 12 streets. Councillor Ray Guselli, part of the Conservative opposition on the Labour-run Barrow council, believes members should reject the recommendation.

He said: “They are getting the message from all the public and traders who seem to be saying ‘we really don’t want this’. So here’s an opportunity for our local council to think ‘let’s not make £15,000, let’s support the people on this issue’, and that’s what we should be doing.

“We should have been opposing this, as a council, from the outset.” The parking meters scheme was voted in as part of the Labour-Lib Dem coalition county council’s 2014/15 budget to save £24.4m following a fourth year of crippling government funding cuts.

In his report for the meeting, Barrow executive director Phil Huck said if the authority chose not to enforce the meters, the county council would contract out the service elsewhere – meaning there would be two local authorities managing and enforcing parking in Barrow.

He said it would be better not to “fragment” matters, which would be confusing and less cost efficient.

Councillor Brendan Sweeney, Barrow council’s deputy leader, agreed. He said: “If we said no to it, it doesn’t stop on-street parking meters. The county council will simply get somebody else to do their on-street enforcement.

“We think people would think it ludicrous if you’ve got two sets of traffic wardens with different coloured hats around town enforcing car parking. It’s only right that it’s brought to executive committee for debate, but the key point is saying no will not stop it.”

Have your say

The really sad thing about all this is not just that, as we have seen so many times before, our elected representatives do not represent the views of the electorate at all, it is the fact that come the next election the vast majority of them will be voted in again! The only way of getting the message through is to use your vote wisely when the time comes but unfortunately the local population appear to have short memories when they get that opportunity.

Posted by Cappucino on 29 July 2014 at 11:57

There are town centre's dying all over the country,and not just from parking meters,but from internet shoppers.
We are at the stage now where a lot of people cant even be bothered to go to the supermarket,it beggars belief at just how bone idle a lot of folk have become.

Posted by Ben Bolton on 29 July 2014 at 10:51

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