Thursday 19 December 2013

Parking in East Devon: where and how much...

There have been a couple of controversies of late over the politics of parking:

Car Parking Comparison - Knowle Park v Heathpark

Where will EDDC staff and visitors be able to park at the East Devon Business Centre at Heathpark Honiton, pictured below - one of the proposed sites for relocation of the District Council?

There is the matter of where and how much to pay at Knowle:

It’s a mad world my masters, especially when it comes to parking

19th November

The Leader once again refused Roger Giles the opportunity to debate whether officers and councillors should be made to pay to park at Knowle.
EDDC’s recent survey of parking in the district maintained that people do not mind how much they pay as long as they can get a space.
The cheaper parking charges for Christmas have been extended because cheaper parking has led to an increase in income.
The “moral” of this story?  There isn’t one, morals just don’t figure here, nor does common sense or justice.

2 Responses to “It’s a mad world my masters, especially when it comes to parking”

  1. Robin FullerDecember 19, 2013 at 7:01 pm #
    For once, I agree with EDDC! There are enough lazy staff at Knowle who cannot be bothered to walk from their free car parks and so litter Knowle Drive with cars, usually on blind bends, usually on pavements – a slalom course of hazzards for those accessing Knowle Drive. Start charging for parking on site and the car parks will be empty and Knowle drive will be full, to the danger of Knowle Drive residents and vistors alike.
    It doesn’t merit debate.
    Robin Fuller
  2. Not A DeveloperDecember 19, 2013 at 7:56 pm #
    Make Knowle Drive residents only Monday – Friday 8 – 6.

It’s a mad world my masters, especially when it comes to parking | Sidmouth Independent News

Call for parking charges at Knowle

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 
A DEBATE on whether to impose parking charges at East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) Knowle HQ in Sidmouth was scuppered thanks to the last-minute intervention of the authority’s leader.
Independent councillor Roger Giles has called for the move – saying it will generate up to £70,000-a-year. He tabled a notice of motion on the subject at a full council meeting last Wednesday (December 4) but Councillor Paul Diviani stepped in before it could be talked over.
The leader moved the matter to a future meeting of the council’s cabinet - at which car parking charges are already being discussed.
Cllr Giles, who represents the Ottery St Mary town ward, has long called for a ‘reasonable’ parking charge to be introduced at Knowle ‘as soon as practically possible’. Previous proposals have been rejected but Mr Giles says the matter has ‘added importance’ now because of EDDC’s controversial ambition to relocate from Sidmouth. Mr Giles also wants to see the entitlement of life-long free car parking for EDDC honorary aldermen in its car parks scrapped.
He told the Herald: “The Conservative leadership at EDDC claims that it is necessary to relocate away from Knowle because it is uneconomic. Here is an opportunity to obtain an annual income of something like £50,000 to £70,000 per year even on a very modest charge of £1 per day. Compare this with people having to pay £1 an hour in EDDC public car parks. This would produce a very different financial picture of the costs of remaining at the Knowle, or moving somewhere else.”
Cllr Diviani said he intervened before the motion was debated as car park issues are currently on the agenda of EDDC’s cabinet and overview and scrutiny committee and these would be a better forum for the matter. “We consistently do our best to deliver in an orderly and businesslike manner,” he added.

There are concerns that the proposals to relocate will lose Sidmouth substantial parking spaces at Knowle - especially for weekend visitors:
Council gets a grilling on HQ transfer | Exeter Express and Echo
Sid Vale Association - SVA response to final LDP June 2012
Council HQ move 'will hurt town economy' | This is Cornwall

And what of the income from parking?

Car parking charges: 30% of EDDC’s income

4th July
Story HERE.
In the article, Councillor Godbeer says:  well, you suggest income streams for lost car parking charges as we rely on this income for 30% of our running costs.
We can think of one possible  income generator: make EDDC employees pay to park at the Knowle and charge employees and others who use other council-owned offices (such as Honiton Business Centre) a parking fee as an extra if they use their cars to get to and from work or meetings when a suitable public transport alternative is available.
Perhaps an audit of staff would help too.  Do we remember something about cost-sharing and staff-sharing with other councils?  What came of that apart from sharing our Chief Executive with South Somerset and sharing IT with Plymouth and Teignbridge? How about sharing other functions too or sharing more very expensive senior managers?   If we can get by on half a Chief Executive, maybe we can manage with half of other senior executives too.
Then use the money raised to subsidise free one-hour parking in the local towns or reduced cost parking.
Oh, and of course, we have saved more than £5,000 a year by not subsidising EDBF!  That should pay for free Christmas parking in our towns!
Can you think of any more money raisers for the council?
Car parking charges: 30% of EDDC’s income | Sidmouth Independent News
Parking charges all add up for EDDC - News - Midweek Herald

And yet the District Council has been prepared to provide free or extended parking over the Christmas period:
“Free parking for all in East Devon”? | Sidmouth Independent News
‘Free’ parking for all East Devon? - News - Sidmouth Herald
Futures Forum: "Discount parking for Small Business Saturday"
Pulmans View from Sidmouth - digital edition (3rd December issue: page 5)

There seems to be a lack of transparency over income from parking:
Simple questions about planning consents in Sidmouth and parking revenue, but no such thing as a simple answer at EDDC | Sidmouth Independent News
Use of Off Street Parking Revenue - a Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council - WhatDoTheyKnow
Greater transparency on parking revenues | Sidmouth Independent News

Lastly, whilst there might be questions about parking at the proposed relocation site for the District Council offices, there is also controversy over  parking at the proposed industrial site at Sidford:
Sidford-Sidbury road: current traffic flow, before the 460+ parking spaces applied for at Sidford Fields! | Sidmouth Independent News

1 comment:

Sam Anderson said...

Parking facility is the requirement of the people and they need a parking spot to park their vehicles.
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