SLDC 'perk' to end as Council leader and senior staff give up parking places for public

The Westmorland Gazette: Coun Peter Thornton, leader of SLDC, with the dedicated space he is set to lose Coun Peter Thornton, leader of SLDC, with the dedicated space he is set to lose

A PERK for council staff and councillors in Kendal is set to be scrapped - to help bring in more cash.

South Lakeland District Council is planning to open up level three of its South Lakeland House car park to the general public - seven days a week.

Until now, motorists have not been permitted to park on level three during the working week - unless they bagged one of six visitor spaces.

The third deck has been off limits to allow SLDC's senior management team, councillors and certain officers to park their cars.

But under the new arrangements, general pay and display parking for the public and parking for those with full price permits will be introduced on level three instead.

The measure is expected to be decided on Wednesday this week.

It has been brought in to meet a council target to increase income from the council car park by a further £15,000.

It means the leader of the Lib Dem-run authority Coun Peter Thornton and SLDC chairwoman, Coun Evelyn Westwood, will lose their reserved spaces.

Councillor Thornton said: “It’s very nice to have your own private parking space and it’s something I’ve greatly appreciated. But most of my time is spent out and about and I’m not in it. It seems wrong to me that I’m occupying a space when I’m not there.”

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Coun Thornton, whose brief for the authority includes parking, added: “Being in charge of parking and having your own parking space is a bit like being a health minister and having private healthcare or being education minister and educating your children privately.

“If it ends up that on a wet day I am late to a meeting because I have had to park a little bit further away, that’s what can happen to everybody else who has to park in Kendal. You can only understand these issues if you experience them for yourself.”

Councillors have been warned that they may not be able to find a spot on council meeting days.

To combat this, the authority’s 51 councillors will be provided with access cards to the Westmorland Shopping Centre.

And on nights when there are council meetings, the lower levels of South Lakeland House car park will remain open rather than being locked.

Council staff will also be given a free access card to park at The Westmorland Shopping Centre - but only if they purchase a subsidised parking permit.

The authority’s senior management team already has to pay for parking permits for their places on level three.

Under the new arrangement, six new visitor spaces will be installed, and two loading and unloading bays.

A council report to go before the Lib Dem Cabinet on Wednesday February 12 recommends they approve the changes.

It read: “Officers have been asked to consider the future use of South Lakeland House Car Park level 3 in a way that removes the current public parking restrictions Monday to Friday and that maximises opportunities to generate further revenue from the site.”

Coun Giles Archibald, the Lib Dem portfolio holder with responsibility for town centres and small businesses, has discussed the matter with all the political parties and notified every SLDC councillor.

Comments (10)

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10:56pm Mon 10 Feb 14

snuggle-bunny says...

I'm sure they'll be able to claim it back on their expenses
I'm sure they'll be able to claim it back on their expenses snuggle-bunny
  • Score: -1

10:49am Tue 11 Feb 14

magical trevor says...

Claim what back on their expenses.....can you be precise on your idiotic comment?
Claim what back on their expenses.....can you be precise on your idiotic comment? magical trevor
  • Score: -6

12:32pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Lakeuk says...

The report implies they'll get free access to the westmorland multi-story car park by being given an access card, while staff only get it if they pay for a parking permit.

Wonder if the access card can be used for personal use?
The report implies they'll get free access to the westmorland multi-story car park by being given an access card, while staff only get it if they pay for a parking permit. Wonder if the access card can be used for personal use? Lakeuk
  • Score: 5

3:22pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Spotty Fish says...

I've never understood why they should get free parking. Shouldn't they pay for it like everyone else? I was very surprised and pleased to read that senior managers already do pay. That's good - now shouldn't the rest pay as well?
I've never understood why they should get free parking. Shouldn't they pay for it like everyone else? I was very surprised and pleased to read that senior managers already do pay. That's good - now shouldn't the rest pay as well? Spotty Fish
  • Score: 9

4:41pm Tue 11 Feb 14

snuggle-bunny says...

tut tut trevor- have I touched a raw nerve old boy. I think it's very public spirited of them to pay for their parking, like everybody else. Mind you - the amount of money some them are on they can afford to Over to you Trev mate
tut tut trevor- have I touched a raw nerve old boy. I think it's very public spirited of them to pay for their parking, like everybody else. Mind you - the amount of money some them are on they can afford to Over to you Trev mate snuggle-bunny
  • Score: 7

7:17am Wed 12 Feb 14

hogheaven says...

All the staff should pay for parking like everybody else, then they will find out how difficult and expensive . parking is in Kendal.FREE Park and ride is the way to go, then the existing parking will be sufficient. Finally why bother replacing the equipment at the multi storey car park, at great cost. Go back to having a man (or woman ) in a box collecting the fee when you leave, saves guessing how long you might stay,and provides someone with a job. Hi tech blah!!!
All the staff should pay for parking like everybody else, then they will find out how difficult and expensive . parking is in Kendal.FREE Park and ride is the way to go, then the existing parking will be sufficient. Finally why bother replacing the equipment at the multi storey car park, at great cost. Go back to having a man (or woman ) in a box collecting the fee when you leave, saves guessing how long you might stay,and provides someone with a job. Hi tech blah!!! hogheaven
  • Score: 0

1:27pm Wed 12 Feb 14

in despair says...

Mr Thornton says -“Being in charge of parking and having your own parking space is a bit like being a health minister and having private healthcare or being education minister and educating your children privately."

It is also very similar to living in quiet secluded Longsledale whilst imposing excessive house building on the residents of every other community with the Local Development Plan.

So, typically all these things are very easy indeed for politicians, whether national or local.
Mr Thornton says -“Being in charge of parking and having your own parking space is a bit like being a health minister and having private healthcare or being education minister and educating your children privately." It is also very similar to living in quiet secluded Longsledale whilst imposing excessive house building on the residents of every other community with the Local Development Plan. So, typically all these things are very easy indeed for politicians, whether national or local. in despair
  • Score: 12

10:04am Fri 14 Feb 14

jazzactivist says...

It isn't giving up the perk if they then have free access to other parking! I empathize with all the Council staff who just have average or low salaries and can't claim parking expenses for their working day. Free parking should be available for all people who work in towns and earn under £25,000pa, if they have to drive to work and park all day. I wouldn't want to work in Kendal, or any of our other towns, as even a subsidized parking permit is a huge expense to come out of an ordinary salary. Without people to work in the businesses and public services there would be nothing for visitors to do or see!
It isn't giving up the perk if they then have free access to other parking! I empathize with all the Council staff who just have average or low salaries and can't claim parking expenses for their working day. Free parking should be available for all people who work in towns and earn under £25,000pa, if they have to drive to work and park all day. I wouldn't want to work in Kendal, or any of our other towns, as even a subsidized parking permit is a huge expense to come out of an ordinary salary. Without people to work in the businesses and public services there would be nothing for visitors to do or see! jazzactivist
  • Score: -2

12:23pm Fri 14 Feb 14

hogheaven says...

jazzactivist wrote:
It isn't giving up the perk if they then have free access to other parking! I empathize with all the Council staff who just have average or low salaries and can't claim parking expenses for their working day. Free parking should be available for all people who work in towns and earn under £25,000pa, if they have to drive to work and park all day. I wouldn't want to work in Kendal, or any of our other towns, as even a subsidized parking permit is a huge expense to come out of an ordinary salary. Without people to work in the businesses and public services there would be nothing for visitors to do or see!
I quite agree with you Jazz, but if a park and ride system were to be introduced it would free up more fee paying places for short term parking for tourists and shoppers, would also cut down on traffic and air polution.Most of the council staff work a full day so it would not affect them. a win win solution I think.
[quote][p][bold]jazzactivist[/bold] wrote: It isn't giving up the perk if they then have free access to other parking! I empathize with all the Council staff who just have average or low salaries and can't claim parking expenses for their working day. Free parking should be available for all people who work in towns and earn under £25,000pa, if they have to drive to work and park all day. I wouldn't want to work in Kendal, or any of our other towns, as even a subsidized parking permit is a huge expense to come out of an ordinary salary. Without people to work in the businesses and public services there would be nothing for visitors to do or see![/p][/quote]I quite agree with you Jazz, but if a park and ride system were to be introduced it would free up more fee paying places for short term parking for tourists and shoppers, would also cut down on traffic and air polution.Most of the council staff work a full day so it would not affect them. a win win solution I think. hogheaven
  • Score: -3

8:46pm Sat 15 Feb 14

jazzactivist says...

I agree that a Park and Ride scheme would be a good idea. So long as people working in town could park there all day for free. It does make the day longer at both ends though, as on the way home you have to walk from work to the shuttle bus stop, wait, catch the bus to the parking area, and only then get in your car to drive home! It would still be tricky for people who don't work office hours too, as if you are working late then you need your car nearby and not to be hanging around in lonely spots in the dark. It's the people on the lowest pay who usually work the oddest hours too. Maybe it would be better for the Park and Ride to be for the tourists and shoppers, and the parking spaces for the workers.
I agree that a Park and Ride scheme would be a good idea. So long as people working in town could park there all day for free. It does make the day longer at both ends though, as on the way home you have to walk from work to the shuttle bus stop, wait, catch the bus to the parking area, and only then get in your car to drive home! It would still be tricky for people who don't work office hours too, as if you are working late then you need your car nearby and not to be hanging around in lonely spots in the dark. It's the people on the lowest pay who usually work the oddest hours too. Maybe it would be better for the Park and Ride to be for the tourists and shoppers, and the parking spaces for the workers. jazzactivist
  • Score: -3

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