We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Tories stop Lib Dem bid for free parking

July 31, 2009 11:38 AM
Cllr David Kendall, Cllr Ross Carter and Nigel Clarke gather petition signatures

Cllr David Kendall, Cllr Ross Carter and Nigel Clarke gathering petition signatures against the high parking charges in March 2009

A bold Liberal Democrat bid to get some free parking in Brentwood's town centre car parks whilst the High Street improvements are completed was rejected out of hand by the Conservatives at a stormy Policy Panel meeting on Wednesday night (29/7/09).

Liberal Democrat Leader Cllr David Kendall moved an amendment, seconded by Cllr Karen Chilvers, calling for Brentwood Borough Council to provide the first hours parking for free in ALL the Town Centre Car Parks from Monday through to Saturday during the duration of the High Street improvements.

The officers had projected that the cost of this proposal would be in the region of £200k. Cllr Kendall said that the money to fund the scheme could either come from the Assize House Trust Fund which currently has a balance of over £1m or some could be taken from the reserves. After some heated exchanges across the Chamber Cllr Kendall's amendment was voted down 8 votes to 3.

Cllr David Kendall said "Many of our retailers and local businesses are facing a desperate struggle to survive during the High Street improvement work and this current economic recession.

"We believe that the Council needs to stop pussy footing around and take urgent action now to help them. If £6 million can be found to refurbish the High Street then surely we can find another £200k to encourage people to come into the town and spend their money on local goods and services.

"The Assize House Trust fund was set up to be used towards the general improvement of the town and could have been seriously considered as a possible source of funding. Brentwood should also be approaching Tory-controlled Essex County Council for help too as they are sitting on over £200 million in their reserves".

The Liberal Democrats have also called for a radical review of parking in time for when the High Street improvements are completed. Their ideas include reintroducing a cash back scheme and other schemes aimed at maximising the capacity at all the town centre car parks during the week and at weekends.

Cllr David Kendall said " Other Essex authorities such as Lib Dem controlled Colchester have shown that a flexible and innovative approach to parking is definitely the way forward"