The Assistant Director of Planning and Growth confirmed that this item has come back to the Committee due to two areas only concerning building control fees and parking permits and paragraphs 5.4 and 6.3 of the report have been updated.
The Chair queried if there has been any consultation with residents about the parking permit charges since the last meeting.
The Assistant Director for Counter Fraud, Enforcement and Community Safety responded that they have not engaged with the entire community regarding the permits.
The Chair stated that he did not like the charges for home owners to park outside their property and he was not comfortable with this without sufficient consultation with residents.
The Assistant Director for Counter Fraud, Enforcement and Community Safety responded that it is not a charge for parking outside your own home. It allows priority parking for residents over commuters and visitors so they can park outside their home or close to it. The Assistant Director for Counter Fraud, Enforcement and Community Safety stated that the proposed parking charges are extremely low and a lot of research has been completed with neighbouring boroughs regarding their charges and the charges being proposed are a lot cheaper. The closest charge is 50% more and the most expensive was 400% more.
Councillor Allen commented that he saw it as a fee to park outside your own home. For many years residents have been able to park outside their home for free. It is commuter parking that is forcing this and in his opinion it is a stealth tax put on residents due to the Council’s financial situation.
The Assistant Director for Counter Fraud, Enforcement and Community Safety responded that these discussions have been ongoing for a long time and are not linked to the Council’s financial situation. It is a realistic policy and one that has been thoroughly thought out.
Councillor Allen stated that he supports a full consultation with residents that live in the parking zones on this.
Councillor Watson queried if the Commissioners had agreed to it.
Councillor Maney confirmed that they have seen it and they are not opposed to it.
Councillor Watson confirmed that she is also against the charges and queried why the third permit is so much more expensive and what the situation is with HMO’s.
The Assistant Director for Counter Fraud, Enforcement and Community Safety responded that the purpose of the charge is to promote non-vehicular use and the knock-on effect is people will hopefully not own that many vehicles. He was unable to answer the question regarding HMO’s and confirmed he would provide an answer to members tomorrow on this.
Councillor Watson raised concerns that those who don’t want to pay this will park their cars in areas where the charges and permits don’t apply and she is aware of estates where this is happening. She stressed that she could not agree to this right now as it is not affordable with the energy crisis.
Councillor Gledhill stated that he lives in a parking zone but he is not a driver. He took the view that the charge was about the ability to exclude others from parking where you live. He did not agree that the £80 fee will put someone off owning a third car. He confirmed that the charge should reflect what it costs and other residents should not be paying for this through council tax. There should also be an option to opt out.
The Assistant Director for Counter Fraud, Enforcement and Community Safety confirmed he would take that away. He responded that it is difficult to cost the service of enforcement for the parking permit service. Their case management software to issue the permits is £40,000 per annum although it is used for other types of work too, the cost of the employee to consider and issue the applications would cost £17,000 per annum and having someone out on the street to enforce this will cost £50,000 per annum. The money generated by the permits wont cover the full costs but it is a contribution towards it.
Councillor Raper queried if there was a way to apply for a permit through the post or another way not online.
The Assistant Director for Counter Fraud, Enforcement and Community Safety clarified that if residents contact the contact centre they will complete the application for them online and post it to them.
Councillor Gledhill proposed a further recommendation is added at 1.3 that the Planning, Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee disagreed with the recommendation to charge for parking permits in controlled parking areas for the reasons discussed above and requested that these are given to Cabinet.
This was seconded by the Chair.
1.1 That Planning, Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee note the revised fees, within the Parking Permits and building control sections 5.4 and 6.3 and comment on the proposals currently being considered within the remit of this committee.
(All other charges remain as seen at the previous O&S committee)
1.2 That Planning, Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee note that Director delegated authority will be sought via Cabinet to allow Fees & Charges to be varied within a financial year in response to Legal or Regulatory requirements only.
1.3 The Planning, Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee disagreed with the recommendation to charge for parking permits in controlled parking zones for the reasons discussed above and have requested that these are given to Cabinet.