Parking meters plan for South Lakes gets green light

The Westmorland Gazette: Library photo Library photo

A COUNCIL committee has today paved the way for on-street parking charges to come in across three South Lakeland towns.

Ambleside is now closer to getting the machines on Lake Road (north) and Wansfell Road, as is The Glebe in Bowness.

Five streets in Kendal - Allhallows Lane, Stramongate, Maude Street, Gillingate and Dowker's Lane - are all now likely to get the machines.

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It would mean motorists getting free parking for 20 minutes but then having to pay £1.50 an hour in Ambleside and Bowness, and £1.20 in Kendal to park on those streets.

However, before any are installed, Cumbria County Council must first launch a 21-day public consultation solely on whether the streets are right and the meters suggested are in the proper place.

The consultation will not ask people to comment on the general principle of charging to park on the street, and the date for it has not yet been set.

Today's decision was taken by the South Lakeland Local Committee of Cumbria County Council.

The council is controlled by a Labour-Lib Dem coalition while the committee has a Liberal Democrat majority.

However, five members of the 18-member committee were absent for today's crucial vote.

Tory opposition leader Coun James Airey, who called for the plan to be scrapped, told the Gazette after the meeting that his group may now 'call it in'.

A call-in would mean today's decision being frozen, halting any public consultation and the issue going back to the committee for further scrutiny.

Council officials told the Gazette that no date has been arranged for when the meters will go in, nor have the machines been procured yet.

Council officials are reluctant to commit to when the meters might be installed, with one suggesting later this year and another believing it may be early 2015.

Today's vote saw nine councillors vote for the meters coming in and four against.

The only Liberal Democrat to vote against was Ambleside's Coun Heidi Halliday, who defied the party line, having publically campaigned against them in her ward.

Lib Dem councillor Clare Feeney-Johnson told the meeting at County Hall that her party had drastically scaled back the number of streets due to have machines.

Before the major public protests of late, over 25 streets were earmarked which has now been cut back to eight.

Coun Feeney-Johnson told the meeting: "We are not here to make a decision about on-street parking charges - that decision was made at full council on February 28.

"I feel very sad that the wealth of interest that there is out there about this issue now wasn't fed into the original consultation."

She added: "Councillors Jo Stephenson (Lib Dem Windermere) and Coun Heidi Halliday (Lib Dem, Ambleside) have worked very hard in their communities to address their concerns."

However, Tory leader Coun Airey called for the committee to ditch the plan.

Coun Airey said: "The public need to be aware a significant number of members voted against this (back in February at full council), and some members even left the room."

"I call on you to throw out these proposals and not even begin a public consultation. Let's be honest, it's not a public consultation really because it's a fait accompli."

He added: "Kirkby Lonsdale, Millom, Ulverston - be warned, these meters are coming to a street near you."

Tory Coun Bill Wearing, the council's chairman, explained that he had run businesses in Kendal and Grange for over 40 years and on-street parking charges would have a 'devastating' effect.

"People will stop coming to these areas or they will come only for a limited time and you will force them to go elsewhere."

Ulverston Labour Coun Mark Wilson, who voted with the Liberals to introduce the meters, said there had been 'reasoned' and 'muddled arguments' over the meters.

Pointing to the recent public marches against the idea, Coun Wilson said: "If you looked in the paper, there weren't very many people on those marches and they got less every week, so that doesn't count."

Lib Dem Coun Brenda Gray said she feared for those people who used the spaces to park for work or visitors staying in the area.

"I'm absolutely divided on whether to vote on this," she said, calling for the price of the charges to be reduced.

The Lib Dems' Coun Ian Stewart said it was the hardest decision he had had to make in 13 years on the council - more difficult than the decision to change the flow of Kendal's traffic.

"I have to emphasise that this will lead to very limited coverage," said Coun Stewart.

"To read some of the stuff that's come out, you would think every street everywhere was covered and getting them (meters).

"The Glebe is potentially tough because not many locals utilise those spaces so it will be tourists. SLDC and the National Park charge for parking and even Nigel (Wilkinson, MD of Windermere Lake Cruises) has a strip of land that he charges for parking on.

"All we're asking is for a small amount, a contribution - probably the cost of an ice cream's worth. I believe it's the right thing to do and in the long term, we'll be proved right."

Lib Dem Coun Nick Cotton pointed out that people could spend more money on fuel trying to find a free parking place than they would on meeting the cost of paying for a place.

Tory Jim Bland said the council would look like 'fools' if they took out the meters in two to three years following a change of political administration.

Lib Dem Stan Collins said: "I don't think anyone here today wants to do this but the fact is we are facing budgets which are getting tighter and tighter. We'll be in real trouble if we don't."

Two members of the public spoke against the meter scheme - Ambleside solicitor Nick Davenport and Kendal businessman Alan Jewitt.

 

 

 

Comments (11)

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3:01pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Ben Berry says...

The utter contempt for the public I witnessed at the meeting was breath taking.

No doubt they'll get personal parking permits...
The utter contempt for the public I witnessed at the meeting was breath taking. No doubt they'll get personal parking permits... Ben Berry
  • Score: 28

5:15pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Lakeuk says...

It's reported that 5 were absent from the vote yet someone at the meeting confirmed some/all of those 5 were at the meeting. So why do a disappearing act when it came to the vote !!!
It's reported that 5 were absent from the vote yet someone at the meeting confirmed some/all of those 5 were at the meeting. So why do a disappearing act when it came to the vote !!! Lakeuk
  • Score: 13

5:34pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Gingery says...

First 20 minutes free!!!!

I live in one of the above named areas, a place where people dump their cars to pop into shops, meaning residents end up without spaces, having to drive around the block several times until a free space can be spotted, blocked in by shoppers parking too close(other residents tend to be more considerate) and at very busy times when bays are full shoppers parking dangerously on double yellow lines - in 5 years I have not yet seen any penalties issued for this.

Considering we, the residents are going to be charged £20 for the permits which allow us to attempt to park near our properties, I'm afraid this on street system is not going to help the problems face on a daily basis and it looks like it's going to be me as a resident who is going to be paying for this.
First 20 minutes free!!!! I live in one of the above named areas, a place where people dump their cars to pop into shops, meaning residents end up without spaces, having to drive around the block several times until a free space can be spotted, blocked in by shoppers parking too close(other residents tend to be more considerate) and at very busy times when bays are full shoppers parking dangerously on double yellow lines - in 5 years I have not yet seen any penalties issued for this. Considering we, the residents are going to be charged £20 for the permits which allow us to attempt to park near our properties, I'm afraid this on street system is not going to help the problems face on a daily basis and it looks like it's going to be me as a resident who is going to be paying for this. Gingery
  • Score: 7

9:17pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Howist says...

Like you, Councillor Berry, I saw politics in action today and it was an unedifying spectacle.
ALL Councillors were playing the political game: Tories - let's see if we can get some votes out of the local electorate if we oppose these proposals, naked electioneering; LibDems - very unconvincing in their support for the proposals, who's the puppet master here; Labour - oh dear, very sad in the towing of the party line.
The county has its slogan 'Serving the People of Cumbria'. Today the politicians were serving themselves and their parties. Shame on you!
Like you, Councillor Berry, I saw politics in action today and it was an unedifying spectacle. ALL Councillors were playing the political game: Tories - let's see if we can get some votes out of the local electorate if we oppose these proposals, naked electioneering; LibDems - very unconvincing in their support for the proposals, who's the puppet master here; Labour - oh dear, very sad in the towing of the party line. The county has its slogan 'Serving the People of Cumbria'. Today the politicians were serving themselves and their parties. Shame on you! Howist
  • Score: 13

9:58pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Howist says...

And, is there anyone in the council chamber who can solve The Mystery of the Missing Protest Petitions?
No!
Senior moments kicking in, I see.
And, is there anyone in the council chamber who can solve The Mystery of the Missing Protest Petitions? No! Senior moments kicking in, I see. Howist
  • Score: 9

10:07am Fri 18 Jul 14

Old Kendalman says...

Amazing. Do these people realise that they are elected to represent the people of Kendal and South Lakes? Kendal town centre is struggling and they want to charge us to park there now. They should be looking to make savings rather than trying to find new ways to get more money out of us so they can give huge payoffs to failing officers.

The sooner we vote the whole lot out the better.
Amazing. Do these people realise that they are elected to represent the people of Kendal and South Lakes? Kendal town centre is struggling and they want to charge us to park there now. They should be looking to make savings rather than trying to find new ways to get more money out of us so they can give huge payoffs to failing officers. The sooner we vote the whole lot out the better. Old Kendalman
  • Score: 14

10:37am Fri 18 Jul 14

life cycle too says...

►Nick Cotton (LD)
Reinforced original speaker's point about minimal cost to motorist for parking compared to huge costs of buying and running a vehicle.◄

Woe betide anyone that owns a house then??!!
It is the huge cost of buying and running a vehicle that makes car owners more choosy about where and how they spend what little they have left!

►Stan Collins (LD)
The only LD to say he was struggling with his conscience but said there was pressing need to cut costs.◄

He needs to look at the wastage in wages for Chief Officers such as Diane Woods, retiring CEO Jill Stannard and the debacle over the security gates in barrow which have cost £££ THOUSANDS a year to maintain for no benefit, and are now going to be removed.
£8000 to remove the wooden railings along the A591 between Ings and Windermere etc. etc.
►Nick Cotton (LD) Reinforced original speaker's point about minimal cost to motorist for parking compared to huge costs of buying and running a vehicle.◄ Woe betide anyone that owns a house then??!! It is the huge cost of buying and running a vehicle that makes car owners more choosy about where and how they spend what little they have left! ►Stan Collins (LD) The only LD to say he was struggling with his conscience but said there was pressing need to cut costs.◄ He needs to look at the wastage in wages for Chief Officers such as Diane Woods, retiring CEO Jill Stannard and the debacle over the security gates in barrow which have cost £££ THOUSANDS a year to maintain for no benefit, and are now going to be removed. £8000 to remove the wooden railings along the A591 between Ings and Windermere etc. etc. life cycle too
  • Score: 10

11:17am Fri 18 Jul 14

lakes59 says...

I cant understand the logic in this other than to try and get more money... No regard for the public or businesses... we have had several short breaks this year to Scotland and Wales..... There were no parking fees in many towns... all these towns were bustling... lovely busy little shops - just like Kendal used to be. In car parks that charged, disabled were free.... Why does the council not listen to the public. Surely free parking attracts tourists to come back... They spend in the shops... K village is a prime example....businesse
s have suffered and closed. No cafe there for coach parties..... I could go on an on ... but no one listens.... its so sad to see the towns decline from the lovely quaint bustling town it was....
I cant understand the logic in this other than to try and get more money... No regard for the public or businesses... we have had several short breaks this year to Scotland and Wales..... There were no parking fees in many towns... all these towns were bustling... lovely busy little shops - just like Kendal used to be. In car parks that charged, disabled were free.... Why does the council not listen to the public. Surely free parking attracts tourists to come back... They spend in the shops... K village is a prime example....businesse s have suffered and closed. No cafe there for coach parties..... I could go on an on ... but no one listens.... its so sad to see the towns decline from the lovely quaint bustling town it was.... lakes59
  • Score: 5

12:55pm Fri 18 Jul 14

twitchy says...

Folks on the whole people you elect because you believe in them and their 'golden' promises and you expect to be represented by them are career politicians with their eyes on the top jobs. There are exceptions and they are to be applauded, but at the LAC meeting the career politicians commanded the vote. They didn't represent you or the 4,000 people who signed the petition which is on going, they LOST the petition even though it was HAND delivered two days prior to the date, they toed the party line directed by their CCC masters.
However the numerous breaches in process that have proceeded this farce plus the mysterious goings on regarding the petition and the deliberate absence of some councillors from the vote needs further investigation. I would write to your local representatives and demand an explanation, you are most certainly entitled to one.
Folks on the whole people you elect because you believe in them and their 'golden' promises and you expect to be represented by them are career politicians with their eyes on the top jobs. There are exceptions and they are to be applauded, but at the LAC meeting the career politicians commanded the vote. They didn't represent you or the 4,000 people who signed the petition which is on going, they LOST the petition even though it was HAND delivered two days prior to the date, they toed the party line directed by their CCC masters. However the numerous breaches in process that have proceeded this farce plus the mysterious goings on regarding the petition and the deliberate absence of some councillors from the vote needs further investigation. I would write to your local representatives and demand an explanation, you are most certainly entitled to one. twitchy
  • Score: 7

10:17pm Mon 21 Jul 14

SteveISITFAIR says...

I dont want to sound like Im making a political point guys, but these days there is a valid alternative to LabLibCon. But whatever anyone may personally think here, I for one am truly sick of this third world type deceptive and scheming junta that continue to insult US ALL, up at Carlisle.
For pitys sake guys GET RID OF THEM EARLIEST !!!!

Please dont anyone forget the magnitude of payoffs for the likes of Stannard either. This is emphatically where your money is going and going with the emphatic blessing of your elected Cllr !
I dont want to sound like Im making a political point guys, but these days there is a valid alternative to LabLibCon. But whatever anyone may personally think here, I for one am truly sick of this third world type deceptive and scheming junta that continue to insult US ALL, up at Carlisle. For pitys sake guys GET RID OF THEM EARLIEST !!!! Please dont anyone forget the magnitude of payoffs for the likes of Stannard either. This is emphatically where your money is going and going with the emphatic blessing of your elected Cllr ! SteveISITFAIR
  • Score: 3

2:13pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Little Lee says...

Save £millions by getting rid of the useless Paper shufflers and Pen pushers on their big salaries and pension pay-offs. The council has already spent around £1+million on four pay-offs, which is an absolute scandal.
Public sector staff at the top end of the pay scale, are costing the country a fortune and having a life of luxury before, and after they retire early.
Save £millions by getting rid of the useless Paper shufflers and Pen pushers on their big salaries and pension pay-offs. The council has already spent around £1+million on four pay-offs, which is an absolute scandal. Public sector staff at the top end of the pay scale, are costing the country a fortune and having a life of luxury before, and after they retire early. Little Lee
  • Score: 3
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