Friday, 18 April 2008

Car Park Row - Fact and Fiction

In the local Star newspaper you will read the following story about our local Car Park (above - note it is not looking too full!!):

I have responded to this as follows:

Dear Editor

Ref - Parking Plan sparks row. (Star 17th April 2008)

I like to think we have started a constructive and "grown up" debate about this issue. I am afraid I cannot ignore the inaccurate and dismissive comment about Ward Councillors not putting forward a sensible argument against the pay and display meters. This could not be further from the truth. Let us just sum up what the two sides of the argument about pay and display are.

Cllr. Dibbs and officers have argued:
1. A few people are abusing the 2 hour limit - therefore they must introduce meters which will stop this abuse. (Along with charging the 99% of people not abusing it.)
2. This is a key part of an overall Farnborough parking strategy.
3. It is easier for wardens to check pay and display.

The following objections were very clearly and loudly raised at the last meeting ward councillors had with Council officers and Cllr Dibbs and in a number of emails, which some of our residents were witness to.
1. This is a back door council tax that will hit tax paying residents more than any other category of people.
2. This will displace additional parking into residential areas where we are already experiencing problems.
3. We do not want families with small children and elderly residents visiting the doctor, dentist or chemist fumbling for change to put in a pay and display machine.
4. What ever system is in place - wardens will have to check it. Council staff should work to improve the life of residents, not the other way round.

In my mind the Salisbury Road Car park is a "no brainer". The Council's own survey showed clearly this was a well used car park that was working and serving residents well. I am in agreement with the survey evidence, residents, traders and the police. Everyone appears to be in agreement except Council officers and Cllr. Dibbs.

If I am wrong - please tell me if Cllr Dibbs has it wrong please tell him

And if you don't care - don't complain - you will get what you deserve.

Warm regards
David Clifford
Empress Conservative Councillor.
"Together we can make a difference"
Tel 01252 371111
Fax 01252 371112

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