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Council approves car parking charge increases

by mikebell on 21 February, 2018

North Somerset Council approved new car parking charge increases for Weston at a meeting last night (20th February 2018), despite opposition from Liberal Democrat councillors led by Mike Bell.

The council’s budget includes proposals to:

  • increase a range of on-street and off-street car parking charges;
  • change the start time for on-street charges to 8am from 9am, so they will now operate from 8am to 6pm;
  • introduce on-street charging on a Sunday, subject to a further consultation.

An amendment to the budget was proposed by local councillor Mike Bell which would have stopped all these changes pending a comprehensive review of parking strategy across the district. The amendment was defeated by 29 votes to 13, with almost every single Conservative councillor voting for the new charges.

Mike said: “Parking in Weston town centre has been a mess for years and it is all being caused by the unwillingness of the Conservative administration to listen to local residents and businesses.

“The council has agreed to commence a cross-party review of parking strategy, and that is very much welcome as I have spent years urging them to do just this. However, it makes no sense to make more changes to parking policy before this review has been done.

“It’s vital that the council looks at fair charges across North Somerset – including outside Weston-super-Mare – how we can introduce some short-term free parking in the town centre to encourage shoppers, make sure that enforcement by parking wardens is done in a common sense fashion, and that a residents’ parking scheme is introduced to give people living in the town centre and around our parks a fair chance of being able to park near their homes if they wish.”

Weston-super-Mare Central Ward’s Conservative Councillor Richard Nightingale abstained on the key vote to try and reverse the parking charge increases, and then voted in support of the budget as a whole, including the parking charge increases.

All four Liberal Democrat councillors, including Weston Central Ward’s Mike Bell, voted against the increases, as did Labour and independent councillors.


3 Responses

  1. John Cadwallader says:

    I was in the public gallery watching the whole of the evenings procedings and yourself, Cllrs Canniford and Crockford Hawley must be commended for your fight to get the parking charges reversed. However, you seem to have forgotten to give credit to the other 9 opposition councillors who also voted against the increases

    • mikebell says:

      Thanks John – this is fair comment and I have amended the article accordingly. I certainly always try to give credit where it is due and I think the opposition groups cooperate well together to try to maximise our collective voices against the administration.

  2. John Cadwallader says:

    Thank you for amending. It was good to see opposing parties working together for a common cause. I’m sure this week’s Mercury will be full of this issue

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