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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Speakers Panel
(Planning)
Special Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting held on 17 December 2014

Time Commenced: 10.00am Time Terminated: 11.05am

Coat of ArmsPresent:

Councillor McNally (Chair)
Councillors Bailey, P. Fitzpatrick, Reynolds, Ricci, Sweeton, Ward and White.

Apologies for Absence:

Councillors P. Buckley, Dickinson, D. Lane, J. Lane and Middleton.


37. Declarations Of Interest

 

Members Subject Matter Type of Interest Nature of Interest
Councillor Shember-Critchley Item 3 – Objections to the Proposed Introduction of Charges for Use of Two Car Parks Situated in Mossley Town Centre Prejudicial Letter of concern expressed regarding the proposal.

 

Councillor Shember-Critchley took no part in the voting or discussion in the above item, however spoke as an objector in her capacity as a Ward Councillor.

38. Objections To The Proposed Introduction Of Charges For Use Of Two Car Parks Situated In Mossley Town Centre

Consideration was given to a report of the Assistant Executive Director (Environmental Services) detailing the objections received regarding the proposed introduction of charges for use of two car parks situated in Mossley town centre and the associated recommendations proposed by Parking Services.

It was reported that the Council was currently experiencing a period of unprecedented cuts to budgets and as a result many services which it provided were subject to review. Part of the review had involved a review of the Council’s assets, including what they were costing the Council to maintain and run and how those costs could be met in the future. It was important that the Council’s assets work to the benefit of all and were operated effectively.

It was further reported that the Council had a legal duty to secure the provision of suitable and adequate parking facilities on and off the highway. In order to achieve this duty it was important to ensure that parking facilities were well managed and sustainable, in order that they were available for the people intended and the introduction of charges on the car parks would ensure that the Council’s resources were effectively deployed to achieve this duty and that parking facilities were suitable in terms of being attractive and available.

Furthermore, a report “Review of Off Street Council Pay and Display Car Parking in the Borough” had been presented to a meeting of the Council and it had been resolved that the introduction of Pay and Display car parking be introduced on the following car parks:-

  • Dukinfield Town Hall;
  • Grafton Street, Hyde;
  • Ward Street, Hyde;
  • Waterloo Road, Stalybridge; and
  • Stamford Park, Ashton.

It had also been recommended that further consideration be given to introducing charging on another eleven car parks and since this time car parks on Market Street, Droylsden and Rassbottom Street, Stalybridge had also had pay and display parking introduced. A further decision had been taken on 22 October 2014 to the introduction of pay and display parking at Stamford Street, Ashton (2 sites), Mill Street and the Market Ground, Mossley, subject to relevant planning approval and the introduction of appropriate traffic regulation orders.

It was reported that the Council was unable, in the current financial climate, to continue to justify providing car parking areas at no cost to those using them and as such was introducing charges to those using the land in order that the asset could be maintained at no additional cost to the authority. The Council was responsible for the general upkeep, ongoing maintenance and the costs of business rates on these car parks. There was a risk that unless the Council could meet the costs of car parks from revenue, then they would have to close and this would jeopardise the Council’s legal duty to provide suitable and adequate facilities for parking off the highway.

It was further reported that the Council had advertised amendments to the Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council (Off Street Parking Places) Order 2009, the effects of which would be to introduce charges for parking on the areas of land illustrated in Drawing No. 001 and 002 on 13 November 2014 for a period of 21 days.

As a result of the advertised order, 125 objections had been received from people living, working or visiting Mossley along with a petition including 1073 names. The objections received included letters from Mossley Town Team, Bottom Mossley Business and Residents Association and the petition had been organised by Chadwick and Hadfield Pharmacy, located on Mossley Road, Mossley. The objection letter from Mossley Town Council had been provided to all Members of the Panel prior to the meeting.

A summary of the objections and the Council’s response was included in tabular form in Appendix C and the majority of objections, 116 out of 125, focused on one or more of the following four concerns:-

  1. 67 of the objectors felt that Mossley as a Town Centre was in a fragile position and that introducing parking charges could have a significant effect on its ability to thrive in the future which in turn could damage the community of Mossley as a whole.
  2. 50 objectors felt that charges on car parks would affect local businesses. Neither local residents nor passing trade would want to pay for parking and would seek alternative places to shop. This could see the closure of local shops, a feature which many see as central to Mossley’s unique appeal.
  3. 35 of the objectors were concerned that people would refuse to pay for parking and seek alternative parking areas on surrounding streets. They envisaged this causing danger and disruption to local residents. Some mention the possibility of introducing residents parking schemes to combat this problem.
  4. Some residents currently use the car parks to park on, as there was limited parking outside residential properties. 29 of the objectors had concerns that they would have to pay to do so and do not feel that this was fair.

Other comments were also received in respect of the orders which were summarised as follows:-

  1. The current condition of the car park was poor; including damaged surfacing, poor lighting and security issues.
  2. It would prevent community events from happening.
  3. Concerns about vulnerable residents being able to access local services such as the doctors’ surgery. Several comments had been made by people working at the doctors surgery that they were either concerned that they would have to pay to park for work or object to patients having to pay when they needed to use the doctors.
  4. Some raised questions regarding the economic viability of introducing charges and whether Mossley or Tameside would benefit from any revenue raised.
  5. Parents had been advised to park on the Market Ground and walk their children to school from there, following safety concerns of the police. Introducing charges would bring this practice to an end and cause road safety issues.
  6. Parking spaces on Manchester Road were parked in all day at no charge.
  7. Desire to remove the restrictions on Saturdays and reduce severity during the working week.
  8. Allow free parking permits for residents who were dependant on Mill (Lane) Street car park.
  9. Allow a refund of parking ticket costs (validation) for shop and business customers.
  10. A solution to commuter parking all day needs to be found.
  11. Network Rail needed to develop their train station car park to suit the demand.

With regard to objections received from Mossley Town Team, it was suggested that the introduction of parking charges would have a detrimental impact on footfall, whilst at the same time, highlighting the issue of commuters taking up free parking spaces. An objections had been presented by Town Councillor Aylett from Mossley Town Council on behalf of Bottom Mossley Business and Residents Association stating that the group considered that:-

  • the introduction of the scheme would not be viable to the local small businesses within the Manchester Road area and the economic benefit to Mossley as a Town would be of a negative effect .
  • the cost of shopping locally may well deter many residents which would greatly impact on the local shop owners and their livelihood. As a consequence the relatively small amount that the scheme would generate could be lost in the reduction of business rates to TMBC.
  • the residents living within the immediate area would experience increased difficulty in securing residential parking near their homes as the scheme could force shoppers and commuters to park on the already congested terrace streets.

The signed petition which had been supported by Chadwick and Hadfield Pharmacy, containing 1073 signatures, stated that the introduction of pay and display parking on Mill Street would be detrimental and difficult for patients and customers who wished to access the Pharmacy’s NHS services.

The Council’s responses in summary to the above objections/comments were as follows:-

  • The majority of Council owned car parks were subject to Pay and Display charges and those that were not currently, were subject to a review.
  • The proposed charging structure was in line with other car parks outside Ashton Town Centre and had been designed so as not to be prohibitively expensive for people wishing to access local services and amenities. Tameside’s car parking charging structure was extremely competitive when compared to other boroughs within Greater Manchester as the Council strived to support town centres whilst protecting assets.
  • Contract car parking passes were available for use on all Council car parks and offered a further reduced rate for regular users.
  • Should ongoing problems with residential parking be experienced, the Council had a controlled parking scheme policy (residents parking) and would consider any application from a significant number of residents for the implementation of such a scheme, which required a clear 51% of residents in favour of its implementation.
  • Revenue raised through the car parking charges was put back into maintaining those facilities and allowed the Council to ensure that facilities were in good working order and fit for purpose.
  • The introduction of pay and display facilities on a car park did not mean that it was no longer available for special and/or community events and arrangements could be made with Parking Services.
  • For those parking for work purposes, contract passes were available at better rates than buying parking on a daily basis.
  • Car parking space had been reviewed and revised many times in Mossley and owing to the nature of the housing and road network through the town it was always an emotive subject, rarely allowing for all interests to be pacified. Traffic operations would continue to monitor the parking situation on street and make appropriate changes when necessary.
  • Response to Mossley Town Team objection – there was evidence to support the view that the sites in Mossley, particularly Mill Street, were being used as a free park and ride facility for commuters travelling out of Mossley. By introducing pay and display charges, this could discourage the likelihood of this continuing and provide greater options for cheap short stay parking to support local businesses with more spaces being available to generate the footfall that the Town Team was working hard to encourage.
  • Response to Bottom Mossley Business and Residents – the current use of the identified land as free parking was unsustainable for the Council in the circumstances of the significant ongoing budget cuts it faced. The majority of Council owned car parks were subject to Pay and Display charges and those that were not currently were under review. By introducing pay and display charges, this should discourage the use of these car parks as a free park and ride facility for commuters travelling out of Mossley and provide greater options for cheap short stay parking to support local businesses with more spaces being available for local residents.
  • Response to petition – there was evidence to support the view that the sites in Mossley, particularly Mill Street, were being used as a free park and ride facility for commuters travelling out of Mossley and by introducing pay and display charges, this should discourage the likelihood of this continuing and provide greater options for cheap short stay parking for local people. With more spaces being available this would improve local residents’ ability to access local services, including the NHS services provided by the pharmacy.

Details were given of the funding of the scheme, which amounted to approximately £7000 for set up costs and would be funded from the Parking Services revenue budget. It was estimated that a car park with the same charging regime and with a provision of 82 spaces, generated a total of £8,924 for the year 2013/14 (£6,646 from ticket sales and £2,278 from contract pass sales). On this basis it would be expected that the provision of an additional 92 spaces would generate income of approximately £9,000 to £10,000 sufficient to cover maintenance, rates and enforcement costs, with any residual surplus being used by the Parking Service for the benefit of the borough.

Details of the charging schedule options were given as follows:-

  • Schedule 1, Section 5.2 below listed the proposed charging schedule with charges for both car parks covering the period from 8.00am to midnight, Monday to Saturday, with no charge on Sundays.
  • Schedule 2, Section 5.3 below listed the proposed charging schedule with charges for both car parks covering the period from 8.00am to midnight, Monday to Saturday, with no charge on Sundays for Mill Street Car Park and for the period from 9.15 am to midnight, Monday to Saturday, with no charge on Sundays for Market Ground Car Park.
  • The proposed later commencement of charges on the Market Ground provided the facility for parents to use the facility for school drop-offs during the morning peak traffic time.

The Chair invited the following objectors to address the Panel:-

 

Objector Summary Of Objection
Mark Brakspear
The Council stated that the main reason for introducing parking charges was to raise revenue. Shopping areas of Mossley would decline and the area would deteriorate with Mossley becoming a less desirable place to live. Rateable charges, both domestic and business, would also decrease.
Lionel Dosset
On behalf of the Save Our Community Space Campaign - the introduction of charges would have a detrimental effect on the town centre and it conflicts with the council’s policy of encouraging the regeneration of the local economy. It would create congestion as there are 3 primary schools on this route and parents should not have to pay parking charges when dropping/picking up at school. Community events such as the band contest, would be affected.
Kevin Hartley

The charges would further damage Mossley town centre. Concern regarding disabled people of Mossley. The Market Ground was used for music events and fairs and this would be a betrayal of trust, particularly for disabled people.
Gillian Garston
Many Mossley residents rely on Mill Street car park as the only reasonably safe place to park our vehicles as there was a single line restriction on Manchester Road. Residents would have nowhere to park and it would discourage people from using the shops on Manchester Road. Increase patrols would be required to enforce the car park charges. Mossley would become a lot less appealing for people to move into and properties would devalue.
Andrew Hadfield
The introduction of pay and display parking on Mill Street would be detrimental and difficult for patients and customers who wished to access the Pharmacy’s NHS services and also the two GP surgeries. Patients would prefer to attend surgeries/pharmacies where parking was free, possibly to Millbrook.
Becky Stokes
The introduction of charges would reduce the amount of prospective shoppers significantly and where will the residents on Manchester Road park during the day and how much would it cost them. Would parents be charged when dropping off or picking up children from the school next to the market ground? The cost of repairing and introducing pay and display facilities at the car parks and employing an enforcement officer would cost more than the income generated.
Councillor Shember-Critchley Mill Street car park should be looked at separately, perhaps a scheme for free parking for up to half an hour.
Market Ground car park was more sensitive as it was used for community events such as the band contest. There should be up to 10 days of free parking for such events at the Market Ground car park.

 

The Assistant Executive Director (Environmental Services) responded to each of the objections as follows:-

  • The charges in Mossley were in line with Council policy – Zone 6 was the lowest tariff for car parking charges which were as follows:-
    • One hour – 20p
    • Up to four hours – 50p
    • Four hours plus - £1
  • Mill Street car park – 60% of cars were currently parked on Mill Street all day, blocking bays, with the majority being train users. Charges would deter the misuse of the car park in this respect.
  • Additional enforcement – current enforcement officers would be used at no extra cost to the Council.
  • Use of the car parks for civic and community events – the Council would consider free parking on days where civic events and community events took place and each application for free parking would be considered on its own merit.
  • With regard to the charges being a concern particularly for disabled people – both car parks would be formalised, therefore 10/12% of car parking spaces would be for the benefit of disabled drivers, albeit charges would apply as for all car parks across the borough.
  • The set up costs being expensive – the Council was not proposing large set up costs for the car parks, this would be kept to the minimum.
  • The opportunity to purchase contract car parking at a competitive offer would be given.

He further stated that the car parks would be the subject of review, as had been the case in Ashton Town Centre and this was a fundamental part of the process.

After taking into consideration the objections raised by residents, businesses, groups and Members, the Panel decided that in the interests of the Council continuing to be able to provide car parking facilities in Mossley it was -

Resolved

That approval be given to:

  1. the introduction of charges, with effect from Monday 12 January 2015, for the use of the two car parks known as Market Ground and Mill Street, Mossley as advertised, with a charging schedule as detailed in schedule 1;

    Schedule 1 of Section 5.2. (Zone 6), both car parks with the charging period from 8.00am to midnight, Monday to Saturday, with no charge on Sundays;

Monday to Saturday 8am – midnight
Up to one hour 20p
Up to four hours 50p
All day £1.00
6pm – midnight 50p
No charge for Sunday  

 

  1. that the authority be given for the necessary action to amend the Council’s Off Street Parking Places order as advertised by the Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council (Off Street Parking Places) (Amendment) (No. 5) Order.

  2. that the Assistant Executive Director (Environmental Services) be authorised to grant permission for use of the Mossley Market Ground car park to be used free of charge for the Remembrance Sunday Parade, Whit Friday and other community events, with each event being considered on its own merit.

39. Urgent Items

The Chair reported that there were no urgent items for consideration at this meeting.

 

 

Chair

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