Saturday parking charges plan for Rayleigh could be scrapped

Echo: Carl Watson Carl Watson

CONTROVERSIAL plans to introduce Saturday afternoon parking charges across the Rochford district could be scrapped next week as councillors have finally been given a free vote on the issue.

The move to start charging after 1pm in council-run car parks prompted outrage from residents and traders who feared it would lead to the closure of small businesses.

The proposal was voted through by members of Rochford District Council in January after a Conservative Party whip was invoked. It then led to a party split, with nine Conservative councillors tabling a motion for the matter to be reconsidered and other members resigning the Tory whip.

Now, all members will get the chance to vote freelyon the issue at a full council meeting on Tuesday.

Carl Watson, president of the Rayleigh Chamber of Trade, said: “Hopefully the councillors will take on board the public and chamber’s views, and those of their own councillors.

“Hopefully, they will take a more sensible approach and understand the issues we were up in arms about previously.”

The council has received a 500- strong petition against the Saturday afternoon charges.

The agenda for Tuesday’s extraordinary council meeting states members will “determine whether to introduce car parking charges on Saturday afternoons”.

Rochford councillor responsible for parking, Mike Steptoe, said: “The vote will be free.

“There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the Saturday charges and businesses have made their point clear.”

Toby Mountain, independent Conservative councillor for the Sweyne Park ward, resigned the Tory whip in the aftermath of the controversy.

He said: “I think this situation has been badly managed, but hopefully it will finally be resolved when it comes before full council.”

The agenda for tomorrow's meeting also recommends councillors to increase the hourly parking charge from 80p to £1, and to allow blue badge holders an hour’s grace on their paid-for parking.

Comments (6)

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says...

  • Score: -1

9:17am Mon 30 Jun 14

Jack222 says...

Everywhere has Saturday parking charges - so should here. Every penny paid is a penny less which needs to be got from Council tax.

Charge!
Everywhere has Saturday parking charges - so should here. Every penny paid is a penny less which needs to be got from Council tax. Charge! Jack222
  • Score: -5

12:21pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Ian P says...

Jack222 wrote:
Everywhere has Saturday parking charges - so should here. Every penny paid is a penny less which needs to be got from Council tax.

Charge!
Many shoppers only go to Rayleigh on a Saturday afternoon, me included, because of the free parking. Go and stand in one of the car parks at 12:55 and note how many vacant spaces there are and then watch how quickly the car park fills up. Without these shoppers some small retailers may be forced to close, with a loss of business rates, resulting in even more money required from Council Tax payers.
[quote][p][bold]Jack222[/bold] wrote: Everywhere has Saturday parking charges - so should here. Every penny paid is a penny less which needs to be got from Council tax. Charge![/p][/quote]Many shoppers only go to Rayleigh on a Saturday afternoon, me included, because of the free parking. Go and stand in one of the car parks at 12:55 and note how many vacant spaces there are and then watch how quickly the car park fills up. Without these shoppers some small retailers may be forced to close, with a loss of business rates, resulting in even more money required from Council Tax payers. Ian P
  • Score: 6

1:44pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Kim Gandy says...

Jack222 wrote:
Everywhere has Saturday parking charges - so should here. Every penny paid is a penny less which needs to be got from Council tax.

Charge!
We should be paying less council tax every time the street lights are switched off but that's not going to happen either...
[quote][p][bold]Jack222[/bold] wrote: Everywhere has Saturday parking charges - so should here. Every penny paid is a penny less which needs to be got from Council tax. Charge![/p][/quote]We should be paying less council tax every time the street lights are switched off but that's not going to happen either... Kim Gandy
  • Score: 4

1:50pm Mon 30 Jun 14

I care about rayleigh says...

Jack222 wrote:
Everywhere has Saturday parking charges - so should here. Every penny paid is a penny less which needs to be got from Council tax.

Charge!
Rubbish! I've never had to pay at Lakeside! Rayleigh traders are in competition with huge malls. Free parking means shoppers are encouraged to stay local. Parking charges are wrong at anytime, but criminal on a Saturday afternoon.
[quote][p][bold]Jack222[/bold] wrote: Everywhere has Saturday parking charges - so should here. Every penny paid is a penny less which needs to be got from Council tax. Charge![/p][/quote]Rubbish! I've never had to pay at Lakeside! Rayleigh traders are in competition with huge malls. Free parking means shoppers are encouraged to stay local. Parking charges are wrong at anytime, but criminal on a Saturday afternoon. I care about rayleigh
  • Score: 7

8:29am Thu 3 Jul 14

alarminstaller says...

That is an odd statements 'Councillors have finally been given a free vote'

Who actually is the person, party or official that granted that, surely that is the very function of democracy electing a person who then together with other elected people decide.
That is an odd statements 'Councillors have finally been given a free vote' Who actually is the person, party or official that granted that, surely that is the very function of democracy electing a person who then together with other elected people decide. alarminstaller
  • Score: 0
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