May 2, 2018 at 7:07 pm #148479
So reading this, did I understand it right that even though staff will now pay for parking councillors will be able to claim the charges back so technically still getting free parking?! 🤨May 2, 2018 at 7:29 pm #148482
Looks like it, still no indication if they are going to open the Guildhall Car Park up for public use seven days a week.May 2, 2018 at 7:35 pm #148483
There should be no reason why not, pointless if they can’t utilise it as pay and display!May 2, 2018 at 8:22 pm #148484
It’s a step in the right direction, but now there’s a value assigned to it when the general public are going to be asking why they have to pay £600 a year to park in Waterworld, but others get to pay just £100 to park in all of the town’s council ran car parks.
So a £600 perk has basically been trimmed to a £500 perk. Some very much still riding the gravy train.
Of course then councillors can claim it back, which therefore some won’t be affected in the slightest. What an absolute farce.May 2, 2018 at 8:35 pm #148485
Also easy enough for senior executive board members on senior pay to say they’ll pay the £100 and not claim back when it won’t affect them in the slightest but offer them the delusion that they actually listened to the public for once and are ‘paying their own way’ like the public (1/6th gesture rate).
What an absolute load of rubbish. Shame the local elections are only taking place in England tomorrow.May 2, 2018 at 9:10 pm #148486
In fact reading through it all, I’m not happy in the slightest. The consultation has actually been completely deceptive & has not put across the full revenue potential of scrapping free parking and making a large number of spaces chargeable.
So by incorrectly claiming that the scrapping of free parking makes a saving of £49,000 they were ultimately only ever planning on charging the 490 a maximum of £100 per permit.
Really the scrapping of free parking represents a revenue generation of £49,000, which is completely paltry if you consider that if a scenario was put forward that the 490 paid full market rate and all had to pay £600 a year (let’s call this the upper limit). Then it could have been portrayed as a revenue generation opportunity of £294,000!
Now if the councillors and top management were willing to help bear the brunt of the difficult decisions faced by the rest of Wrexham’s general public, then this fantastic additional revenue stream I’ve just identified and the Exec board have clearly suppressed would bring in much needed cash that would mitigate some of the harsher cuts to front line services and those for children and vulnerable.
The Exec Board have been so vociferous that the disabled plus country park users must pay to keep things running, so why are the 490 also not paying to do the same thing?
I’m more than confident that had this been paid as a revenue generation opportunity then there’d have been overwhelming public backing for this. But no, they’ve cleverly got the public to agree that Councillors etc… should only have to pay a maximum of £100 for parking when the public are expected to pay up to 6 x more. Suckered!May 2, 2018 at 10:55 pm #148492
This is a farce of a proposal put together by people with a vested interest.
1. Reclaiming- The HMRC guidance for claiming expenses is clear that travel to a designated workplace and car parking is not an acceptable expense for the purpose of claiming from an employer or through tax.
2. Assuming all Council Members and Officers use the Guildhall or other Council office in the town as a designated place of work any claim made could be deemed fraudulent. Cllr Bitthel is potentially making a statement that if carried out Council Members and Officers could be deemed to be defrauding.
3. The figure of 490 people eligible for the ‘special offer’ would imply that this must be most of those staff in the Guildhall, Crown Building, Lord Street and Lampit Street- this would appear to be a significant increase in the number who currently have free parking. The impact is that the Council are now going to offer the £100 deal to people who are currently paying as they are not senior enough in the structure.
4. The move in 3 seems to be to ensure ALL staff and Council Members have equality but is actually a move to reduce income.
5. Have the Council conducted a full Equality Impact Assessment- if so what has made Members and Council Staff for important than the average citizen – what criteria have they used to determine this.May 2, 2018 at 11:09 pm #148496
Some excellent points Council Watcher. I too was wondering if the 490 was an increase in numbers vs the original members of ‘free parking club’.
It also begs the question that if trade unions etc… are involved could more individuals employed by the council also demand the same perk? Including those who work in schools etc…
This would mean the £100 rate would be offered to thousands, effectively nuking parking revenues. Then you reach the tipping point where it’s considered unfair that other residents of Wrexham are not also offered £100 annual parking.May 3, 2018 at 3:38 am #148503
I can’t claim to have actually expected this to happen, but I still can’t say that this surprised me – as it’s Wrexham council, sadly it doesn’t. It figures that the councillors (and perhaps the “top managers” too) would look after themselves first. It seems they have no qualms about cutting back on stuff for the public due to austerity, as long as they themselves get a good deal on the parking. They appear to have no understanding of the concept of equality or that we are “all in it together”. They must know how bad this looks so it feels to me as if they’re just sticking two fingers up at us and saying “deal with it”. They’re a disgrace.May 3, 2018 at 3:56 pm #148524
Some good points made here. I’m assuming too that this offer will only be open to WMBC staff and councillors based in town centre buildings. I suppose on the one hand £100 p/a seems low, but will guarantee a high take up. Whether the income equates to more than is currently paid by staff buying daily tickets is not clear, but I suspect many staff who don’t need their car for work Park on side roads rather than pay, And this would no doubt increase if they were charged £600 p/a. Matt makes the point about other staff demanding the same deal but as far as I’m aware, those based outside of town have free parking anyway. I guess if you’re someone who needs your car for work I.e social worker, if you’re faced with high parking charges but need proximity parking because you’re out 3-4 times a day, you’re just going to end up parking for free 15 minute walk away and ultimately getting to/ from appointments will take a lot longer and impact the service.
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