Wokingham Lib Dem Councillors force review of Evening and Sunday car park charges

Liberal Democrat councillors in Wokingham have forced a review of a  Conservative decision to introduce charges in council car parks for parking  in the evenings and on Sundays.   The Conservative Executive  took the decision on 31st March, against opposition from the public.

The Liberal Democrats have submitted a formal notice requiring Wokingham  Borough’s Overview & Scrutiny committee to hold an inquiry into the  decision.  They want a review because of significant concerns about the way in which the Executive decision was reached.   The recommendations coming  out of the review will be sent to the Executive for them to consider before  they retake the decision.  The charges cannot be introduced until after the  review has taken place.

Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Councillor Lindsay Ferris, was the  first to sign the notice.  He says “The idea of charging for parking  overnight and on Sundays came out of the blue.  We don’t know what led to it  being proposed.  We haven’t seen any detailed evidence to support the claim  that it can raise £150,000 a year.  And there is no analysis of the  different parking needs in different parts of the Borough or the impact that  charging will have on the different local areas.  It is just not good  enough.”

Councillor Tom McCann agrees.  He says “The decision the Executive took on  31st March will allow them to bring in evening and Sunday parking charges in  all the council car parks, including in Woodley, which is my area.  But  earlier on in the meeting the Conservatives had said they were going to add  10p an hour to daytime parking charges in Woodley instead of introducing  evening and Sunday charging.  I don’t know why they decided to treat Woodley differently.  I know even less about why, having said they were going to  treat  Woodley differently, they then voted to treat it the same as everywhere else. It’s a complete shambles!”

Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey, councillor for Winnersh added “The Lib Dems have  been calling for a comprehensive parking plan for the Borough for about 2  years.  Instead we get a proposal to introduce evening and Sunday parking  charges that doesn’t even take into consideration the emergency changes to  parking that are going on in Wokingham town right now!  This is not a  sensible way to do things.”

The Liberal Democrats will continue to argue for a parking strategy for the  whole Borough which covers both car parks and on-street parking.

Published by Woodley & Whitegates Liberal Democrats, 26 Farriers Close Woodley, Reading RG5 3DD.

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