Wrexham.com attended the Wrexham Council Executive Board meeting at 2pm today (July 5th) which had discussions considering the parking management report. The report gave an update on the ‘significant useful feedback’ from the consultation on the proposed street parking. This consultation recieved around 200 responses.
The feedback suggested to the council is that on street charging is halted for the time being, which was voted on and agreed by members.
Councillor Bithell said there is ‘clearly no support’ for the proposals and that the feedback from the consultation has fed this back. He went on to mention national chains who are in the town, such as TJ Hughes, who are struggling and hopes to work on a new strategy to help this issue.
Alun Jenkins said he was happy that a consultation was carried out and that it gave a clear indication to feeling in the town. He made it clear that he supported the idea of a process rather than deciding on a whim. Mr Jenkins stated he had concerns from the start with this idea.
Mr Jenkins went on to say that this is not an idea that ‘wont come back year after year’ and has been put to bed.
Clr Bob Dutton highlighted that Clr Jenkins missed mentioning that there was a motion to bin the idea of on street parking charges and a fair bit of time has been wasted. Mr Jenkins did not support this proposal at a previous vote, favouring proceeding to consultation.
Clr Rogers outlined he has been against this idea ‘from the outset’ and wanted the council to ‘admin we got it wrong’ from the start. Clr Rogers mentioned that there was an embargo on this news, however had a call about it before it was officially released. He also wants the council to go further, and go for a Chester-esque ‘free after three’ style charges.
A Clr described the idea as ‘a cross between some monthers do ave em and faulty towers’, explaining how it was a shortsighted as although revenue from carparks may rise but losses probably would occur elsewhere eg. loss of trades, shops etc.
A question was also raised in what this has cost in officer time as it has taken four months to get to this point. The reply was as its a complex question its probably unanswerable (!)
Clr Bithell asked if the consultation being stopped early was legal, as the officer said it would need to run until the end of July. Likewise he queried officers speaking to the press about the matter under an embargo.
He was told if it was a statatory consultation then yes, it would need to have full time, however he was advised this ‘probably was not’.
As for the ‘embargo’ on discussions with press, media briefings are given on Tuesday morning however responses on that are embargoed until Thursday. This rumbled on with Clrs not being happy that the local press had published on Thursday morning, and some members learning about the reports from the press not the council. Clr Dutton seemed annoyed that the press had the report before him.