CONTROVERSIAL on-street parking charges have been confirmed by Cumbria County Council (CCC) today (June 9).
At a scrutiny management board meeting held in Carlisle, members agreed on endorsing the cabinet’s decision to push ahead with implementing the charges.
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The board backed the decision despite two opposing cases presented by the independents councillors and Conservatives.
CCC Conservative leader councillor James Airey said he would overturn the decision to introduce on-street parking charges if he led the council after the next election.
Coun Airey raised concerns that there had been a lack of consultation for public and traders and added that there were other ways to make the money the council is set to lose over the next year.
But cabinet member for transport Keith Little said they had gone through the full consultation and that in the original 12 week period in South Lakeland they had no issues raised by any businesses, parishes, committees or public.
The board also heard from independents councillors who were concerned that there would be a blanket roll out of on-street parking charges.
However, they were reassured by the cabinet that they would work with the district councils and implementation would be down to the local committees.
Keith Little added that he was ‘disappointed’ to hear that Eden’s local committee would not be implementing the charges.
He added that the charges would reduce congestion in town centres, but Count Airey said that it would harm businesses because ‘no one would be there’.
A proposal was put forward to the board to refer the decision back to cabinet for a more in-depth look at the business case, financial details, enhanced consultation and an enhanced briefing for local committees.
But councillor Keith Hamilton successfully proposed endorsing the council’s decision to press ahead with on-street parking charges.
The cash-strapped county council’s decision has met fierce opposition from MPs and the public.
A total of 330 people turned out in force at a meeting in Windermere last week, organised by the newly-formed Windermere and Bowens Action Group.