Agenda item

Introduction of Additional Pay and Display Sites within Thurrock (Decision: 110603)


Councillor Maney introduced the report and stated that car parks within Thurrock fell into two categories: pay and display car parks; or free of charge car parks that were unrestricted and had no controls placed on them. He explained that due to the condition of some of the car parks in Thurrock, the Council needed to intervene before the car parks became too dangerous and needed to be closed. He added that in recent years, the number of compensation claims due to the condition of the car parks had increased and approximately £24,000 of damages had been paid to local residents. He stated that he and the team had considered all of the car parks in the borough before submitting the proposals, and sites that did not support local businesses and were mainly for recreational usage were being proposed as additional pay and display sites. He highlighted point 2.6 of the report and emphasised that officers had been discussing the proposals with users, and had determined that sites such as South Ockendon Recreation Ground might be suitable for permit parking areas, or for additional land, not formally part of the car park, being used as parking for the site.

Councillor Maney stated that he was also proposing limited tariffs for South Ockendon Recreation Ground, for example between Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm. He stated that the team were also considering a season ticket for country park users, such as at Langdon Hills, which would reduce the price they would have to pay to park. He felt that the team were doing what they could to further discussions with service users, and any additional income made from the pay and display sites would be ring-fenced for the maintenance of those car parks. He added that any necessary remedial works on the car parks would be completed before the pay and display tariffs were implemented. He stated that it was difficult for officers to determine how much income would be generated from the additional pay and display sites, as there was currently no data regarding car park usage, but officers were estimating £160,000 could be generated for council car park maintenance. He added that the Council had to pay business rates for the car parks and the additional income from the sites would help to offset this burden placed on the Council. Councillor Maney summarised and stated that Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology was not being proposed at Cabinet, but he would be urging officers to adopt this method of enforcement, as he felt it would increase the income brought to the Council.

The Leader drew Cabinet’s attention to three letters that had been received from the Director of the Mardyke Pavilion; the Chairman of Brandon Groves Football Club; and the General Secretary of Belhus Cricket Club. He felt that Cabinet had listened to their views and were therefore proposing that tariffs were limited at South Ockendon Recreation Ground. Councillor Maney stated that the times for the tariffs had not yet been agreed, but felt the limits would benefit users of the site. He added that the Council had received complaints from local residents and members of the public regarding commuters using South Ockendon Recreation Ground car park to park their cars before catching the train to London or working in nearby offices. He felt that the tariff times would ensure that the car park was only utilised by those people using the site, rather than commuters, and would therefore benefit local sports clubs. Councillor Jefferies asked if the Portfolio Holder had considered the wider problem of commuters parking in residential roads surrounding the train station. He asked if residential parking permits had been considered. Councillor Maney agreed that South Ockendon did have problems with commuter parking in residential areas and stated that he would ask officers to look into this issue, and would suggest a parking permit area in roads near to the station.

The Leader proposed an additional recommendation which read: “The tariff proposals, outlined in 2.6 of the report and in regards to the South Ockendon Recreation Ground, will be agreed following further consultation with members of the public and sports ground users.” Cabinet unanimously agreed with the additional recommendation. The Leader invited Mr Cansdale, the General Secretary of Belhus Cricket Club, to make a statement regarding the report. Mr Cansdale felt the additional recommendation, which could limit tariff times and days at South Ockendon Recreation Ground could be workable for local sports groups and visitors. He stated that he could not speak on behalf of other sports groups, but thanked Cabinet for their proposed recommendation. Councillor Maney stated that he would be happy to meet with members of the sports clubs at South Ockendon Recreation Ground if necessary, and welcomed any feedback from members of the public.

RESOLVED: That Cabinet:

1. Considered the proposal, in view of the Medium Term Financial Plan and efficiencies required to meet a balanced budget, and supported the creation of additional pay and display facilities and car parks in Thurrock.

2. The tariff proposals, outlined in 2.6 of the report and in regards to the South Ockendon Recreation Ground, will be agreed following further consultation with members of the public and South Ockendon Recreation Ground users.

Reason for decision: as outlined in the report
This decision is subject to call-in

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