Councillors launch latest bid to stop Rochford parking fees hike

Against the increases – councillors Christine and John Mason and Michael and Diane Hoy

Against the increases – councillors Christine and John Mason and Michael and Diane Hoy

First published in News by

OPPOSITION councillors are behind a last-ditch attempt to scupper controversial plans to increase car parking charges across the Rochford district.

Councillors backed a rise in parking charges in council-run car parks at a meeting earlier this month.

At the same meeting it was decided to scrap plans for parking charges on a Saturday afternoon, but some councillors feel this did not go far enough.

The alliance between Rochford District Residents and the Green Party, now the Tories’ main opposition, has tabled a motion at a full council meeting to axe the increase in charges, branding it an “austerity tax”.

John Mason, Rochford District Residents councillor for Hawkwell West, said: “The Green and Rochford District Residents Group consider the increase in car parking charges an austerity tax which has not been approved by Parliament.

“We believe the revenues raised are to form a reserve which is being raised as a ‘stealth tax’ for the Chancellor, George Osborne.

“It was incorrect for members to vote in favour of a motion which had financial implications without having the relevant information available to members at the time the decision was taken.”

Their motion has been signed by the two Rochford District Residents and Green Party members, plus all three Ukip councillors, independent Conservative Toby Mountain and Lib Dem Chris Black, exceeding the eight required signatures to force a debate.

Mike Steptoe, Rochford district councillor responsible for enterprise, said he was aware of the motion, which has been received by council officers.

He said: “I can assure you we would not be increasing car parking charges if we did not consider it to be necessary.

“The reality is that, following a reduction in Government funding, some tough decisions have had to be made and this is one of them.

“However, I am pleased to say we did listen to residents and businesses who were concerned about introducing charges to Saturday afternoons and our officers spent a long time looking at other options.”

Comments (7)

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2:00pm Thu 17 Jul 14

rayleighrunner says...

About time some of our councillors stood up to the Conservative whip! Well done to all those councillors that have backed this motion - whilst the conservatives still have the overwhelming majority it's nice to see they're not having everything their own way, without proper scrutiny. The colourful opposition (Rochford, Greens, UKIP, Lib Dem, Independent & Labour) are clearly going to make like hard for the Conservatives and quite right too!
About time some of our councillors stood up to the Conservative whip! Well done to all those councillors that have backed this motion - whilst the conservatives still have the overwhelming majority it's nice to see they're not having everything their own way, without proper scrutiny. The colourful opposition (Rochford, Greens, UKIP, Lib Dem, Independent & Labour) are clearly going to make like hard for the Conservatives and quite right too! rayleighrunner
  • Score: 2

2:25pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Jack222 says...

The more people pay for parking the less which has to come from council taxation. Raise the fees!
The more people pay for parking the less which has to come from council taxation. Raise the fees! Jack222
  • Score: -2

2:38pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Keptquiettillnow says...

So you are doing this for the motorised citizens, what are you going to do for those tax payers who travel by other means?
So you are doing this for the motorised citizens, what are you going to do for those tax payers who travel by other means? Keptquiettillnow
  • Score: 2

3:25pm Thu 17 Jul 14

mthraves says...

With most of Rochford's car parks less than half full most of the time, we need to encourage people to use the car parks. Putting the prices up will no doubt cause more on street parking or for people to go elsewhere. It will probably not bring in much more money either, but cause negative effects elsewhere.
With most of Rochford's car parks less than half full most of the time, we need to encourage people to use the car parks. Putting the prices up will no doubt cause more on street parking or for people to go elsewhere. It will probably not bring in much more money either, but cause negative effects elsewhere. mthraves
  • Score: 2

3:30pm Thu 17 Jul 14

I care about rayleigh says...

The only justification for any parking fees at all is to prevent communters from clogging Rayleigh's car parks to avoid paying for the station car park. A nominal sum - say 50p for the hour between 10am & 11am would put a stop to that, and for the rest of the time shoppers would be encouraged to visit the town. Apologies to those who attend the aerobics class at the Mill hall at that time!
The only justification for any parking fees at all is to prevent communters from clogging Rayleigh's car parks to avoid paying for the station car park. A nominal sum - say 50p for the hour between 10am & 11am would put a stop to that, and for the rest of the time shoppers would be encouraged to visit the town. Apologies to those who attend the aerobics class at the Mill hall at that time! I care about rayleigh
  • Score: 3

3:45pm Thu 17 Jul 14

billericay boy says...

All towns car parks should be free to encourage shoppers to shop without having to worry about getting a fine, good for local business and the community, yes commuters will take advantage of this but with the technology that's available now days this could be stopped. I.e they have cameras that get you if you are 1 min late why not just use them to fine drivers who park 8 hrs a day every day.
All towns car parks should be free to encourage shoppers to shop without having to worry about getting a fine, good for local business and the community, yes commuters will take advantage of this but with the technology that's available now days this could be stopped. I.e they have cameras that get you if you are 1 min late why not just use them to fine drivers who park 8 hrs a day every day. billericay boy
  • Score: 2

7:16pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Keptquiettillnow says...

There is no such thing as free parking. Someone pays.
There is no such thing as free parking. Someone pays. Keptquiettillnow
  • Score: -2

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