Wokingham Borough Council Liberal Democrats were disappointed at last night’s decision by the Conservative majority on the Overview & Scrutiny Committee to endorse their own party’s Executive decision on the Parking Plan.
The Overview & Scrutiny meeting was held as a result of the Liberal Democrats call for an investigation into why no public consultation took place prior to the publication and adoption of the Council’s Parking Plan. The Conservatives on the committee did not accept that that consultation on the Plan was needed.
Cllr Prue Bray (leader of the Liberal Democrats on Wokingham Borough Council) said: ‘The Liberal Democrats are very disappointed that the Conservatives on the committee simply voted on party lines. It seems they just do not understand how important it is to consult local residents and other interested parties at an early enough stage to be able to influence council plans. We are especially disappointed as the Council has been through this once before where parking is concerned, with the on street parking charges, and it seems that the Conservatives have failed to learn from their previous mistakes.”
Wokingham Liberal Democrats have announced that they are calling-in the Executive’s decision on the Parking Plan.
Prue Bray (leader of the Liberal Democrats on Wokingham Borough Council) said: ‘We do not think it is satisfactory to have a Parking Plan that no one has been consulted on, that hangs off another document that has still not been agreed, and does not take account of the needs of all parts of the community. So we have asked for the decision to be formally reviewed in order to get some consultation built into the process.’
Wokingham Liberal Democrats were outraged by the arrogant behaviour of the Conservatives at last Thursday’s council meeting. The Conservative Executive Member for Highways, Councillor Keith Baker, used an obscure council mechanism to prevent any debate on parking from occurring. The Liberal Democrats had proposed a motion calling for a coherent parking strategy, and planned to discuss what such a strategy should include.
Prue Bray (leader of the Liberal Democrats on Wokingham Borough Council) said: ‘It comes across that the Conservatives are so arrogant that they feel that it is a waste of time listening to any other people’s views. No wonder local residents think that the Conservatives are out of touch when they resort to such tactics to avoid hearing other views!’
Phil Challis (Liberal Democrat Councillor for Loddon Ward) added: ‘This arrogance has come unstuck in the past. The Conservatives had to withdraw their ill-judged attempt to charge for on-street car parking. Then, as now, the principle problem was that no consultation had taken place. A cross-party committee pointed out then that Wokingham Borough needed a coherent parking strategy. Unfortunately, the Conservatives don’t seem to have learnt from their mistake and once again they are trying to drive through their own ideas on parking without any input from anyone else. That is no way to run a council.’