Parish council anger at plans to introduce on-street parking charges in Ambleside

Compston Road at Ambleside

Compston Road at Ambleside

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CUMBRIA County Council’s proposal to charge for on-street parking solely in Ambleside brought heavy criticism from public and councillors at the latest Lakes Parish Council Plans meeting as an 'inadequately thought-out money-making scheme which would have a severe impact on visitors, retailers and B and B owners'.

Councillors urged everyone in Ambleside to oppose them, and Coun Vivienne Rees said the idea was flawed on economic, social and moral grounds.

She said proposals lacked detail and supporting evidence, yet CCC had set aside over £250,000 for meters.

Coun Maureen Colquhoun also criticised CCC for what she regarded as the surreptitious way it had discussed the issue.

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County councillor Heidi Halliday said she had strongly opposed the original proposal and would continue fighting against it, urging everyone to sign the ‘Say No to On-Street Charges’ petition in Spar or at Whittaker’s Newsagents, or online at you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/say-no-to-on-street-parking-charges.

Following last week’s Lakes PC meeting, the council wrote to CCC Leader Stewart Young and Highways and Transport Cabinet member Keith Little expressing concern at the lack of consultation on the specifics of the proposal, details of which had only been revealed in the past few weeks.

Councillors asked both to attend the next Lakes PC meeting so they could hear directly the effect charging would have on local people, including those from surrounding villages who use Ambleside for their daily shopping needs.

They also want to highlight the problems on-street charging would cause local small independent businesses, particularly now that since CCC’s original decision was taken, Sainsbury’s has been given permission for a supermarket at Hayes Garden World, offering two hours’ free parking for customers.

In response, Leadership Support officer Theresa Atkinson said neither Stewart Young nor Keith Little were available but CCC had already consulted on the proposal to introduce on-street parking charges, which was agreed in February as part of the budget setting process for 2014/15.

However, decisions on exactly where on-street charging would go and how much charges would be in South Lakeland were matters to be decided through the South Lakeland Local Committee.

A period of consultation around the implementation process would take place and when this was decided, Lakes PC would have the opportunity to respond, as part of the consultation process on Traffic Regulation Orders.

Councillors were also told that the South Lakeland Local Committee was due to discuss the issue at a workshop this week, at which Coun Heidi Halliday would be able to feed in the parish council’s concerns at this stage.

Comments (17)

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9:12pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

People refer to Ambleside as a village and it certainly has a welcoming feeling when you can park and do your errands. I don't know how many parking fines are handed out, but the blue cardboard disc puts me on my honour not to overstay. I never have and I haven't seen anyone else hogging a space. If this parking meter idea comes in, Ambleside becomes a town overnight: no more trust in people's honesty but a machine to control your stay. Has a parish council any power to stop this? I'd say Ambleside is under siege from a much bigger council that sees tourism as a cash-cow.
People refer to Ambleside as a village and it certainly has a welcoming feeling when you can park and do your errands. I don't know how many parking fines are handed out, but the blue cardboard disc puts me on my honour not to overstay. I never have and I haven't seen anyone else hogging a space. If this parking meter idea comes in, Ambleside becomes a town overnight: no more trust in people's honesty but a machine to control your stay. Has a parish council any power to stop this? I'd say Ambleside is under siege from a much bigger council that sees tourism as a cash-cow. Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: 5

7:34am Tue 29 Apr 14

Lakeuk says...

Parish council have no powers, any views they pass have the same waiting as if it came from joe public
Parish council have no powers, any views they pass have the same waiting as if it came from joe public Lakeuk
  • Score: 0

11:15am Tue 29 Apr 14

davidearnshaw says...

Everyone in South Lakes and South Cumbria needs to know that this ill thought out scheme for ON STREET PARKING CHARGES will come to virtually ALL TOWNS ---- including WINDERMERE, BOWNESS, KENDAL, ULVERSTON, BARROW and others; apart from Cllr Heidi Halliday ---- Lakes County Councillor who is openly totally opposed to the scheme ---- The Liberal Democrat / Labour alliance Councillors seem blinkered and have a don't care attitude to the very obvious fact that such moves in any of our South Cumbrian Towns will undoubtedly damage town centre traders --- and in Ambleside with the coming of Sainsbury's will more than likely cause the demise of some service shops; their claim that they need the money generated to pay for more robust traffic and parking management is just absolute nonsense ---- the card system in place now is well supported by traders, and allows a good turnover of use of parking places ----- Councillors just see the whole scheme as a CASH COW -- work it out --- one parking slot for 1hr or 30 mins could generate a very substantial daily income. Unfortunately this whole idea has been "slipped in" "under the radar" of everyday folk --- being tucked in as an item with the County's Budget plans way back at the end of last year ------ the answer now of course from Council Leaders / Portfolio holders is " you had a chance in the budget consultation" -- but how many everyday citizens actually have time and know how to analyse and dissect budget proposals ?? --- had this been put up as a separate issue for consultation ---- undoubtedly public reaction would have been very focussed against -- a very clever move by Council !!!! . I call upon Council members to just stop and think --- how much damage this move will do to our towns, and to have the courage to revisit, and reverse their decision --- otherwise -- watch your seats !!!
Everyone in South Lakes and South Cumbria needs to know that this ill thought out scheme for ON STREET PARKING CHARGES will come to virtually ALL TOWNS ---- including WINDERMERE, BOWNESS, KENDAL, ULVERSTON, BARROW and others; apart from Cllr Heidi Halliday ---- Lakes County Councillor who is openly totally opposed to the scheme ---- The Liberal Democrat / Labour alliance Councillors seem blinkered and have a don't care attitude to the very obvious fact that such moves in any of our South Cumbrian Towns will undoubtedly damage town centre traders --- and in Ambleside with the coming of Sainsbury's will more than likely cause the demise of some service shops; their claim that they need the money generated to pay for more robust traffic and parking management is just absolute nonsense ---- the card system in place now is well supported by traders, and allows a good turnover of use of parking places ----- Councillors just see the whole scheme as a CASH COW -- work it out --- one parking slot for 1hr or 30 mins could generate a very substantial daily income. Unfortunately this whole idea has been "slipped in" "under the radar" of everyday folk --- being tucked in as an item with the County's Budget plans way back at the end of last year ------ the answer now of course from Council Leaders / Portfolio holders is " you had a chance in the budget consultation" -- but how many everyday citizens actually have time and know how to analyse and dissect budget proposals ?? --- had this been put up as a separate issue for consultation ---- undoubtedly public reaction would have been very focussed against -- a very clever move by Council !!!! . I call upon Council members to just stop and think --- how much damage this move will do to our towns, and to have the courage to revisit, and reverse their decision --- otherwise -- watch your seats !!! davidearnshaw
  • Score: 7

2:19pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Roger Windermere says...

Agreed Dr Earnshaw. I live in Windermere and the town is slowly dying. We now have 3 shops empty, the latest closed 2 days ago. With limited parking already the introduction of meters - were it to be implemented in Windermere & Bowness as well as Kendal etc - would drive people away. CCC very short sighted in their policies and as many have said already, treating the popular central Lakes as a CASH COW. Thank goodness we have elections soon, a time for people to express their opinions I think. I live in hope - but not much - that common sense will prevail, but I doubt it some how.
Agreed Dr Earnshaw. I live in Windermere and the town is slowly dying. We now have 3 shops empty, the latest closed 2 days ago. With limited parking already the introduction of meters - were it to be implemented in Windermere & Bowness as well as Kendal etc - would drive people away. CCC very short sighted in their policies and as many have said already, treating the popular central Lakes as a CASH COW. Thank goodness we have elections soon, a time for people to express their opinions I think. I live in hope - but not much - that common sense will prevail, but I doubt it some how. Roger Windermere
  • Score: 3

3:30pm Tue 29 Apr 14

fellsman says...

I understand that this policy would have been introduced in Kendal, but for the local elections in May which have put this on hold - bearing in mind that Kendal is dominated with Liberal councillors, many who are on both District & County Council and have made this outrageous decision, one can understand them wanting to save their lucrative jobs - it stinks
I understand that this policy would have been introduced in Kendal, but for the local elections in May which have put this on hold - bearing in mind that Kendal is dominated with Liberal councillors, many who are on both District & County Council and have made this outrageous decision, one can understand them wanting to save their lucrative jobs - it stinks fellsman
  • Score: 4

3:32pm Tue 29 Apr 14

fellsman says...

Where is Tim Farron on this issue - the silence is deafening!!
Where is Tim Farron on this issue - the silence is deafening!! fellsman
  • Score: 6

6:14pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Grumpyoldbiker says...

There is opposition to on-street charges all across the country. In one particular picturesque place in Essex the locals have taken measures to show their displeasure, (see Daily Mail). It appears only in Northumbria are the local council taking note of the wishes of the populace. Hexham, I believe is doing well now that charges have been abolished. Anyone have any first hand experience ? I will have a run across the border to investigate myself. Meanwhile ask your council elections candidates directly where they stand / voted and cast your ballot accordingly.
There is opposition to on-street charges all across the country. In one particular picturesque place in Essex the locals have taken measures to show their displeasure, (see Daily Mail). It appears only in Northumbria are the local council taking note of the wishes of the populace. Hexham, I believe is doing well now that charges have been abolished. Anyone have any first hand experience ? I will have a run across the border to investigate myself. Meanwhile ask your council elections candidates directly where they stand / voted and cast your ballot accordingly. Grumpyoldbiker
  • Score: 2

7:15pm Tue 29 Apr 14

fellsman says...

Is it possible to publish a list of those councillors who are standing for District in May who are also County councillors who voted FOR this insanity - I note Mr Stephenson, who I guess is one of the architects of this policy is not up for re election this year
Is it possible to publish a list of those councillors who are standing for District in May who are also County councillors who voted FOR this insanity - I note Mr Stephenson, who I guess is one of the architects of this policy is not up for re election this year fellsman
  • Score: 3

9:48pm Tue 29 Apr 14

onelocal says...

Councillor Halliday might strongly oppose the plan to charge for on street parking in Ambleside, but of course she would, she is up for re-election for SLDC in the coming weeks. If she was so opposed, she would have voted against this proposal at CCC level, when she in fact I understand that she diidn't vote. If she had the courage of her convictions she would resign the Lib Dem whip and stand as an independent, like her previous councillor colleague Councillor Boden, in Kendal Hallgarth. But then the Lib Dem party machine would have her out before her feet could touch the ground. Recently the Conservatives at SLDC proposed that SLDC send a message to CCC opposing the on street charges, but unfortunately the majority Lib Dems voted that proposal down. Difficult to know who supports and who opposes this proposal. Perhaps it really is time for a change.
Councillor Halliday might strongly oppose the plan to charge for on street parking in Ambleside, but of course she would, she is up for re-election for SLDC in the coming weeks. If she was so opposed, she would have voted against this proposal at CCC level, when she in fact I understand that she diidn't vote. If she had the courage of her convictions she would resign the Lib Dem whip and stand as an independent, like her previous councillor colleague Councillor Boden, in Kendal Hallgarth. But then the Lib Dem party machine would have her out before her feet could touch the ground. Recently the Conservatives at SLDC proposed that SLDC send a message to CCC opposing the on street charges, but unfortunately the majority Lib Dems voted that proposal down. Difficult to know who supports and who opposes this proposal. Perhaps it really is time for a change. onelocal
  • Score: 2

9:57pm Tue 29 Apr 14

fellsman says...

Councillor Halliday's name has been submitted for the May election - there is nothing to stop her standing as an independent - it is too late for the Liberals to de-select her and nominate someone else - might just be the tonic they deserve
Councillor Halliday's name has been submitted for the May election - there is nothing to stop her standing as an independent - it is too late for the Liberals to de-select her and nominate someone else - might just be the tonic they deserve fellsman
  • Score: 6

10:42am Wed 30 Apr 14

twitchy says...

The Budget Consultation Feedback Report on CCC website page 72 clearly shows that the majority of consultees disagreed with the proposal. Ironically it is under the title 'Thinking local first'.
So the consultation was just a farce, a box ticking exercise to be ignored since it didn't fit with the decision I think was already made prior to the consultation exercise.
Top down politics strikes again, time to strike back, hard.
The Budget Consultation Feedback Report on CCC website page 72 clearly shows that the majority of consultees disagreed with the proposal. Ironically it is under the title 'Thinking local first'. So the consultation was just a farce, a box ticking exercise to be ignored since it didn't fit with the decision I think was already made prior to the consultation exercise. Top down politics strikes again, time to strike back, hard. twitchy
  • Score: 3

1:23pm Wed 30 Apr 14

ImFromAmbleside says...

Well, the sane majority seem to be in agreement that this is a ridiculous idea, and abstaining from voting is not the same as voting against it. Very disappointing from our local Councillor.

There are supposed to be laws and regulations that stop such stupid ideas but these seem to be being ignored by CCC.....

ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT, SECTION 45, PARAGRAPH 3 reads
'In determining what parking places are to be designated under this section the authority concerned shall consider both the interests of traffic and those of the owners and occupiers of adjoining property, and in particular the matters to which that authority shall have regard include:

(a)the need for maintaining the free movement of traffic;

(b)the need for maintaining reasonable access to premises; and

(c)the extent to which is available in the neighborhood or the provision of such parking accommodation is likely to be encouraged there by the designation of parking places under this section.

So if the plan is 'rubber stamped' the movement of traffic will be hampered, access to the residential streets in the proposal will be impeded, and people will end up dumping there cars anywhere they can!

The council will immediately be in breach of the ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT.

And don't get me started on the fact that it is illegal to raise revenues from parking charges, which they obviously are doing, as you cannot go from having free parking to charging for it and call that a 'saving', it's a charge!
Well, the sane majority seem to be in agreement that this is a ridiculous idea, and abstaining from voting is not the same as voting against it. Very disappointing from our local Councillor. There are supposed to be laws and regulations that stop such stupid ideas but these seem to be being ignored by CCC..... ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT, SECTION 45, PARAGRAPH 3 reads 'In determining what parking places are to be designated under this section the authority concerned shall consider both the interests of traffic and those of the owners and occupiers of adjoining property, and in particular the matters to which that authority shall have regard include: (a)the need for maintaining the free movement of traffic; (b)the need for maintaining reasonable access to premises; and (c)the extent to which [F6off-street parking accommodation, whether in the open or under cover,]is available in the neighborhood or the provision of such parking accommodation is likely to be encouraged there by the designation of parking places under this section. So if the plan is 'rubber stamped' the movement of traffic will be hampered, access to the residential streets in the proposal will be impeded, and people will end up dumping there cars anywhere they can! The council will immediately be in breach of the ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT. And don't get me started on the fact that it is illegal to raise revenues from parking charges, which they obviously are doing, as you cannot go from having free parking to charging for it and call that a 'saving', it's a charge! ImFromAmbleside
  • Score: 12

9:13pm Wed 30 Apr 14

Lakeuk says...

Listened to Mike Zeller this morning on Radio Cumbria do an interview on this issue with cumbria council and a councillor on the Eden Local Committee who says they won't rubber stamp the local traffic orders needed (won't stop it, just delay it), worth listening to on iPlayer 2hrs 10mins in.

I wonder whether South Lakeland Local Committee will do the same, they had the workshop with CCC to go through the details (according to Radio Cumbria) - answers on a postcard
Listened to Mike Zeller this morning on Radio Cumbria do an interview on this issue with cumbria council and a councillor on the Eden Local Committee who says they won't rubber stamp the local traffic orders needed (won't stop it, just delay it), worth listening to on iPlayer 2hrs 10mins in. I wonder whether South Lakeland Local Committee will do the same, they had the workshop with CCC to go through the details (according to Radio Cumbria) - answers on a postcard Lakeuk
  • Score: 0

4:15pm Thu 1 May 14

ImFromAmbleside says...

It will be interesting to see how Cumbria County Council justifies the proposal when, on the 23rd October last year a Commons Select Committee, the Transport Committee said;

'the use of parking charges and fines specifically to raise revenue by local authorities is neither acceptable nor legal'

This is, unarguably, a revenue raising exercise.

You can read the select committees report here: http://www.parliamen
t.uk/business/commit
tees/committees-a-z/
commons-select/trans
port-committee/news/
parking-substantive/
It will be interesting to see how Cumbria County Council justifies the proposal when, on the 23rd October last year a Commons Select Committee, the Transport Committee said; 'the use of parking charges and fines specifically to raise revenue by local authorities is neither acceptable nor legal' This is, unarguably, a revenue raising exercise. You can read the select committees report here: http://www.parliamen t.uk/business/commit tees/committees-a-z/ commons-select/trans port-committee/news/ parking-substantive/ ImFromAmbleside
  • Score: 6

10:06pm Thu 1 May 14

Mrs A Bath says...

It's a direct assault on a village economy by brainless panicky politicians too far from Ambleside to be affected themselves. But this time, I think the Lib Dems are being seen for what they really are, and Labour for that matter, and all their representatives. From the areas CC councillor who didn't do enough, to the remarkably silent MP Tim Farron, they have let us down dreadfully. Shame on them.
It's a direct assault on a village economy by brainless panicky politicians too far from Ambleside to be affected themselves. But this time, I think the Lib Dems are being seen for what they really are, and Labour for that matter, and all their representatives. From the areas CC councillor who didn't do enough, to the remarkably silent MP Tim Farron, they have let us down dreadfully. Shame on them. Mrs A Bath
  • Score: 1

11:48am Fri 2 May 14

ImFromAmbleside says...

I wrote to Tim Farron and asked him to clarify his position with regards to this proposal. This was his (or someone on his behalf's) response;

''I share your concern about the impact of any such charging policy for residents and for the businesses of the town and I am pleased to confirm that I have written to the Area Committee of County Councillors to ask for explanation of the extent to which they may have discretion over the implementation of the policy of the County Council.''

Phew! I guess it's all sorted now a letter has been written!

The problem for me is that if Tim really did share my concerns he would have instructed all his Councillors to vote against the measure, not just abstain.

It's this lack luster, non committal, pseudo politics where people act as if they care but never really do anything when it matters that really winds me up.

Perhaps it is time to bring the Liberals reign over South Lakeland to an end.
I wrote to Tim Farron and asked him to clarify his position with regards to this proposal. This was his (or someone on his behalf's) response; ''I share your concern about the impact of any such charging policy for residents and for the businesses of the town and I am pleased to confirm that I have written to the Area Committee of County Councillors to ask for explanation of the extent to which they may have discretion over the implementation of the policy of the County Council.'' Phew! I guess it's all sorted now a letter has been written! The problem for me is that if Tim really did share my concerns he would have instructed all his Councillors to vote against the measure, not just abstain. It's this lack luster, non committal, pseudo politics where people act as if they care but never really do anything when it matters that really winds me up. Perhaps it is time to bring the Liberals reign over South Lakeland to an end. ImFromAmbleside
  • Score: 4

10:10pm Fri 2 May 14

onelocal says...

ImFromAmbleside wrote:
I wrote to Tim Farron and asked him to clarify his position with regards to this proposal. This was his (or someone on his behalf's) response;

''I share your concern about the impact of any such charging policy for residents and for the businesses of the town and I am pleased to confirm that I have written to the Area Committee of County Councillors to ask for explanation of the extent to which they may have discretion over the implementation of the policy of the County Council.''

Phew! I guess it's all sorted now a letter has been written!

The problem for me is that if Tim really did share my concerns he would have instructed all his Councillors to vote against the measure, not just abstain.

It's this lack luster, non committal, pseudo politics where people act as if they care but never really do anything when it matters that really winds me up.

Perhaps it is time to bring the Liberals reign over South Lakeland to an end.
Just to be clear, Tim's Lib Dems didn't abstain. Thirteen of the fifteen Lib Dem councillors voted for the on street parking charges. Two councillors, including Councillor Halliday, were absent, which is somewhat different from abstaining. It's pretty obvious that the local councillor was "excused" voting as the Lib Dem/Labour coalition knew they would carry the vote without putting her in an embarrassing position with her re-election coming up
[quote][p][bold]ImFromAmbleside[/bold] wrote: I wrote to Tim Farron and asked him to clarify his position with regards to this proposal. This was his (or someone on his behalf's) response; ''I share your concern about the impact of any such charging policy for residents and for the businesses of the town and I am pleased to confirm that I have written to the Area Committee of County Councillors to ask for explanation of the extent to which they may have discretion over the implementation of the policy of the County Council.'' Phew! I guess it's all sorted now a letter has been written! The problem for me is that if Tim really did share my concerns he would have instructed all his Councillors to vote against the measure, not just abstain. It's this lack luster, non committal, pseudo politics where people act as if they care but never really do anything when it matters that really winds me up. Perhaps it is time to bring the Liberals reign over South Lakeland to an end.[/p][/quote]Just to be clear, Tim's Lib Dems didn't abstain. Thirteen of the fifteen Lib Dem councillors voted for the on street parking charges. Two councillors, including Councillor Halliday, were absent, which is somewhat different from abstaining. It's pretty obvious that the local councillor was "excused" voting as the Lib Dem/Labour coalition knew they would carry the vote without putting her in an embarrassing position with her re-election coming up onelocal
  • Score: 2

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