Agenda item

Questions to Portfolio Holders, if any

Minutes:

Question received from Councillor Malyon:-

 

Could I ask for clarification as to why there are variables in the 12 monthly car parking charges:

Leek Vicarage Road £55

Buxton Road £220

Cheadle Well Street 12 months £320

Biddulph Wharf Road 12 months £250

With variables for 3 months and 6 months.

 

Response from Councillor Hart, Portfolio Holder for Property & Tourism:-

 

SMDC issue a number of permits on the long stay car parks to facilitate commuters, businesses and residents, however there are current variances in the charging rates for the permits as follows:

1.    Leek Vicarage Road £55

These are residents and workers permits and were put in place 2012-13 at the request of the previous portfolio holder as this car park was underutilised at the time. It’s been a success with over 100 permits sold each year. The NHS staff who occupy Moorlands House also benefit as approximately 90  permits a year are sold to them. The car park provides an important “overspill” to Moorlands House car park for the working week. It is anticipated that working practices are likely to change following the pandemic, and the Council will need to review the usage of the car park and its permits.

2.    Buxton Road , Leek £220.

This permit was also put in place in 2012-13 at the same time as the above as an option for commuters and people working in Leek.

3.    Leek long stay car parks 12 months £370

4.    Cheadle Well Street 12 months £320

5.    Biddulph Wharf Road 12 months £250

The rationale for the difference in these charges outdates the current parking staff, however we have been able to establish they have increased on an inflationary basis along with the general parking charges.  We have looked back through old Cabinet reports but the rationale isn’t explicit, although there is certainly an argument that permits would have been granted on car parks who were less utilised in order to encourage more use of them.

 

The new SMDC Parking Strategy is being presented to Cabinet on the 8th February. It contains an action for the permits to be reviewed to ensure that the aims of the Council and the strategy is being achieved. This includes the potential offer of more “flexible” permit types which would reflect the changing flexible/agile working habits which are anticipated following the recent pandemic. We will review the permits to ensure that they are fair and encourage the use of the lesser used car parks to ensure that the council is making the most of its assets.

 

By way of supplementary questions, Councillor Malyon asked:-

1.     The Budget documents presented at this meeting still reflect the differences shown above. A level playing field was needed.

2.    High Peak Borough Council residents had different permits available. Shouldn’t this be across the Alliance?

 

Work was ongoing to make permits within SMDC more equitable. The 2 councils were separate organisations. Written replies to both these questions would be provided within 7 days of this meeting.

Supporting documents: