A MOTION to force a council u-turn and drop the price of car park tickets in Powys has failed, with opponents calling it “short-sighted”.
Cllr Gareth E Jones of the Independents for Powys group had originally tabled a motion for discussion at a Powys County Council meeting in July.
But the motion was withdrawn following promises of a review of the issue were made by the ruling Liberal Democrat/Labour administration.
The motion was brought back to the table for the meeting on Thursday, 5 October.
The intention of the price hike when it was agreed as part of this year’s budget was to generate an extra £50,000 for the department.
The current forecast is that the Highways Transport and Recycling department which has responsibility for car parking would make £392,000 this year.
Independent for Powys group leader Cllr Jeremy Pugh who seconded the motion said that parking charge hikes had a “devastating impact” on rural communities who pop into towns to pick up “bits and bobs.”
The motion was to introduce the up to one hour parking period and in long stay car parks the price should be set at £1.40 in line with short stay car parks.
Conservative Cllr Pete Lewington had tabled an amendment to this proposal.
Cllr Lewington said: “While I’m pleased to see the motion – for me it doesn’t go far enough to address the concerns raised by businesses, residents and town and community councils across Powys.”
He wanted to see the one hour parking charges capped at £1.
“I cannot believe the short sightedness of the council,” Cllr Lewington said.
“We are here to serve our communities and respond to their needs.
“Our residents and businesses have asked for our help which they need now.
“They cannot be made to wait for the outcome of any proposed car park review as clearly our residents cannot afford to pay these higher charges.”
Monitoring officer Clive Pinney told the meeting that if the motion was agreed the council would have to wait six months before looking at the issue again.
Finance portfolio holder labour’s Cllr David Thomas said: “Normally when income generation generates more than the target for it, we’d be celebrating success.
“And it helps alleviate some of the pressures that’s placed on that service.”
He added that the motion was “highly dangerous” and identified a “serious flaw” in the process that could allow councillors to approve a motion that tips a department into an overspend position after a budget had been set.
Portfolio holder for Highways Transport and Recycling which includes car parks Liberal Democrat Jackie Charlton said: “It’s very clear to me that we desperately need this car parking review.
“We have set out our terms of reference and the working group will sit on 26 October.