Parking charge review welcomed

Cotswold Journal: Parking charge review welcomed Parking charge review welcomed

A DECISION to review a hike in parking charges in Shipston has been hailed a "step in the right direction" by residents.

As previously reported, people living in Telegraph Street were dismayed after Stratford District Council's Cabinet unanimously decided to increase parking permit charges by more than 200 per cent at a meeting on April 7.

Members voted to increase the price of an annual permit from £25 to £35 and subsequent permits to £175 - an increase from £50 to £210 for two - following a consultation.

Councillors Jeff Kenner, Richard Cheney and Peter Moorse called in the decision which was reviewed by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at a meeting yesterday (Wednesday).

After a debate, members decided the increase was disproportionate and endorsed the £35 fee for the first permit and recommended a fee of £70 for the second permit as well as restoring the visitor's permit for a fee of £70.

Their decision will now go back to Cabinet with an officer's recommendation to approve it.

Long-serving resident Tim Ross-Bain said: "It's a step in the right direction. In an ideal world we would like the price to be the same as the rest of the town but whether or not they will go for that I don't know.

"Hopefully this could be an answer but you never know."

In 2002, a decision was made by the council to issue parking permits to some Telegraph Street residents so they could park in the adjacent council-owned car park as they did not have their own off-street parking due to double yellow lines on the road.

Since then residents have been able to buy an annual permit at £25 each but following a review last October, where the district council consulted on proposals relating to the number of annual permits available to Telegraph Street residents, it was decided the rules needed to be tightened up.

Cllr Jeff Kenner, Shipston ward member on SDC, said it was a huge victory for the residents.

"The original increase imposed by the Conservative Cabinet was extortionate and unjustified," he said.

"I am delighted for the residents who have at last got some justice."

Cllr Richard Cheney, fellow ward member, added: "The Tories on the Cabinet were very greedy in wanting to charge these residents a 200 per cent increase on their fees.

"I hope they will now reconsider their avaricious decision and agree to a more reasonable charge."

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