Another 10p set to go on parking charges across Mid Devon
CAR parking charges are set to rise across Mid Devon from next month – but policy-makers have a chance to review the increases as promised to the people who signed a petition opposing the plans.
Last summer more than 2,600 people signed a petition circulated by Westexe hairdresser Maria Cheatle and though the campaigners failed to stop the increase, district councillors did pledge to review its impact 12 months on.
However, speaking at the meeting last Wednesday, the council's cabinet member with responsibility for car parking charges appeared to suggest a further 10p rise would go ahead unless overwhelming opposition could be demonstrated.
Motorists can currently park in the multi-storey car park in Tiverton's Phoenix Lane for up to five hours for £1.
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But from April 1, this is set to rise to £1.10.
Cllr Ray Radford told the meeting: "The increase will take place unless there is an overwhelming desire for it to be reviewed.
"I think £1.10 to park for up to five hours is still cheap; it is really good value. I don't think you could say car parking charges in Mid Devon are exorbitant."
However, following the meeting Mid Devon District Council sought to clarify that a review is due to take place at this month's meeting of the council cabinet.
The council decided last year to raise car park charges for three consecutive years, with the rate at which rises would take place agreed in advance. A statutory consultation process is currently taking place regarding the second of the three years of charges due to come into force next month.
Following the handing-in of the petition which highlighted the potentially negative impact on town businesses of increased charges, it was agreed that the council's cabinet would review car parking price increases in 12 months' time.
That review will take place at the March cabinet meeting when the consultation process is completed and any new representations can also be considered.
The council's scrutiny committee is also due to discuss the issue and the process will be repeated at the beginning of 2014 to implement the final increase agreed by the council.
Cllr Paul Williams highlighted the length of time it had taken the council to put up a banner advertising the cost of parking in its multi-storey car park, which he said would soon be out of date.
"How long is it going to take to get a banner done this year?" he asked.
Cllr Radford accepted the banner advertising the £1 parking rate had not gone up until more than six months after the charge was introduced and apologised for the delay.