A plan to increase the cost of resident parking permits by 225 per cent across Warwickshire has been condemned by a group of councillors and some of those who will be affected by the proposed price hike.
Three Rugby residents spoke at this week’s (October 15) full council meeting of Warwickshire County Council explaining that those most affected will be those who can least afford it - the disadvantaged who lived in terraced properties with no off-street parking.
Their case was backed by Cllr Maggie O’Rourke (Lab New Bilton and Overslade) who presented a notice of motion at the meeting having previously spoken out against the price increase at a meeting of Rugby Borough Council.
Cllr O’Rourke called for a select committee to be set-up to consider the implications. This was amended by the controlling Conservative group which asked that the findings of the consultation on the charges be brought before the county council’s overview and scrutiny committee and this was voted through.
Cllr O’Rourke explained: “Some of these streets have may only 24 or 25 parking places available and this council has issued over 54 permits which leads to problems.
“Residents in Rugby have responded in their thousands to Warwickshire’s consultation process and they have raised many issues and concerns. I have been involved in local politics for more than 30 years and I have never seen so much anger and hurt in the community I represent.”
There was support from another Rugby councillor Lib Dem leader Cllr Jerry Roodhouse (Eastlands) who added: “Quite clearly, if you start looking at the scheme, you will be hitting some of the most vulnerable people in the county. You are going to be tipping people over the edge if you go for this scheme.”
Cllr Peter Gilbert (Con Bedworth West) said businesses could also suffer under the planned permit changes.
He added: “A lot of things have been said about getting things right. It needs to be handled properly and implemented properly because there are parking issues in all of our divisions.
“We must remember that there are businesses out there that are just about getting through, employing people, paying their rates and paying their VAT. This could just tip them over the edge so we must get it right for them.
“Let’s take it through scrutiny, let’s get members involved in it, let’s get our residents involved in it and once it has taken place then we should be able to make the right decision.”