Thursday, October 6, 2011

Riverside Parking Charges to go?

In an article in the this weeks Hunts Post, Cllr Churchill (currently suspended by the County Conservatives and voted against by a majority of the District Conservatives) is in the news about being against the car parking charges at Riverside Car Park. Apparently the St Neots Conservatives gained an agreement that charging at Riverside Car Park will be reviewed when the District Car Parks are reviewed. No date for the review has been set.

Cllr Churchill said: "I was always against parking charges at Riverside, and I abstained on the cabinet vote."

Abstaining is non-committal. You are neither for or against the proposal. To be against the parking charges at Riverside Cllr Churchill must have voted against this proposal. Which he didn't.

As a Cabinet member Cllr Churchill says the Riverside Car Park is used mainly for recreation and that 38 spaces are not enough. Hmm... Hinchingbrooke Country Park is charged at £1 for 2 hours with no free spaces. This was instituted at the same time as Riverside. So why is there one policy for recreation users at Riverside and another for Hinchingbrooke?

Cllr Churchill is in the Conservative bad books. Having been dumped off many panels he is groping round for popular issues to show he is doing something. All the St Neots District Councillors who vote for the District Councils budget therefore endorse the car park charges at Riverside, yet deny they do so.

The St Neots Conservative Councillors all have a choice on this issue.

They could have voted against - which they didn't.
They could have resigned the whipped - although Cllr Farrer did threaten he didn't resign the whip.
Cabinet members could have resigned from Cabinet - none did.
They could have voted against the budget - none did.

In the end this is a continuation of the pantomime. With the worst case scenario being £6 million of cuts still needed at District our Councillors should concentrate on this.

snrednek says:
There is a solution to this. The Town Council takes responsibility for all the functions in St Neots which it has powers to do. Parks and recreation grounds are really the Town Council's responsibility and should be paid by the Town. The Car Parks should be run by the Town Council instead of District Council. There needs to be a fundamental look at who does what in the District. Currently the District Council wants contributions from the Towns for running a number of services. I feel this should change. It is what Localism is about. Decisions about services brought closer to those who will have to pay for them.

In the case of car park charges this would be decided by the Town Council who will have the responsibility for running and maintenance. The trouble is this is a revenue item for the District Council and the District Council wants to keep revenue and only lose the costs.

The problem is the District Council will want to cherry pick the services. Those that cost most will go to  the Town and Parish Councils and the revenue retained by District. There needs to be a whole package of revenue and cost for the Town Council to take up these services. Trouble is I feel any deal is now too late.

1 comment:

Justin said...

Sounds like he is trying to save face with this public annoucement of the parking charges.

I dont buy it. if he was against it from the start the a vote of no should have been recorded.