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Affordable residents' parking permit being considered in parking review

By Herald Express  |  Posted: October 05, 2012

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AN affordable residents' parking permit is being considered as one of the options in Torbay Council's parking review.

But the mayor has agreed to defer for further consideration the proposed £50 permit for councillors for further talks with opposition leaders.

Labour Cllr Darren Cowell raised the question of a residents' parking permit which would be valid in any council car park and have a pay-monthly option which could be bought from ticket machines.

Cllr Cowell said: "We have got ourselves in of a bit of a pickle over the past few weeks over car parking. I am glad to see the parking review I called for is proceeding and it looks like some good things could come out of it.

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"But there are some problems, particularly in our town centre car parks. We know it's not just the council's responsibility to address falling footfall. It has to be done in partnership."

He mentioned the award won by Conservative controlled South Hams for its £21 parking pass which can be used between 10am and after 4pm. It also allows people to use the Dartmouth park-and-ride for free. It had also cut charges in Modbury in a pilot project to see if it could help revitalise trade.

"Wouldn't it be nice if Torbay could be in that same position," said Cllr Cowell. "Expecting our hard-pressed residents to pay up to £510 for an annual permit is not reasonable. We need an affordable system," he said.

Independent councillors had objected at the proposal to charge staff up to £1 a day when councillors could pay a total of £50.

Cllr Cowell withdrew his motion at the full council for councillors to pay the same for the passes subject to further discussions with the mayor.

Independent Cllr Mike Morey said they had been presented with a 'fait accompli'.

"I am pleased that we are finally moving towards talks which should have happened months ago. I thank the mayor for his offer of further talks and that Cllr Robert Excell will look further at the staff issues."

Mayor Gordon Oliver said: "The affordable residents permit needs to be looked at with the transport working party. It is already being looked at and a report will be prepared.

"I want you to be aware of the implications in our present financial situation. We are still planning the budget at the moment."

He said it would be sensible to look at the further options for councillor parking permits.

"I hope we can have some sensible and constructive discussions to move this forward," he said.

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