Bitter-sweet victory in parking row

THE row over parking charges in Shipston rumbles on after Stratford District Council (SDC) decided not to hike up the price - but instead to scrap visitor permits.

It was a bitter-sweet victory for residents living in Telegraph Street after the council's cabinet went with the Overview and Scrutiny Committee's (OSC) recommendation of charging £35 for an annual permit and £70 for subsequent permits.

However at the meeting on Monday, members decided to discontinue visitor permits at a cost of £70 per year, against the recommendation of the scrutiny committee.

The review of parking charges was called in last month by Councillors Jeff Kenner, Richard Cheney and Peter Moorse who felt the council's initial proposal of increasing permits from £25 to £35 and subsequent permits to £175 following a consultation was too much.

Cllr Kenner, Shipston ward member on SDC, said: "I'm extremely disappointed on behalf of the residents.

"This was a fair compromise which balanced the interests of the residents with the need of the council to retain it's carpark."

Cllr Richard Cheney, fellow ward member, said: "Although common sense has prevailed on the cost of the car park passes the Conservative councillors seem to be incapable of understanding the wishes of elderly residents who don’t have cars themselves but do have visitors who need to be able to park without having to worry about parking costs and times," he said.

Long-serving resident Tim Ross-Bain said: "I think it's a shame they haven't taken in any recommendations regarding visitors' permits.

"It's quite important for the elderly in the street. It's going to affect them more than anybody."

Councillor Chris Saint, leader of Stratford District Council, said: "Visitors to these houses are not denied parking, they are just not being given a season ticket for it or they can move further away where they can park for free.

"It wasn't considered appropriate to continue subsidising parking for people's visitors."

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