Council knew about parking blunder ‘for weeks’

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Calderdale Council knew there were major legal issues with parking in Halifax town centre weeks before announcing it to the public.

A series of question were raised last night (Monday) at Cabinet by councillor Barry Collins (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden), who said the council had been aware that it could not enforce parking charges and penalty notices for more than a fortnight before alerting the public.

He asked Cabinet: “Why did the council not tell the public about the legal problems with its traffic regulations in Halifax town centre until October 8 when it actually stopped issuing penalty charges on September 23?”

He asked whether other groups on the council were made aware of legal advice given to the council about the issue on September 10.

He also asked: “When will the council publish a map showing which parts of Halifax town centre are affected by the withdrawn traffic regulation orders, so residents know which traffic orders apply and where?”

He asked when the council will make it clear if other areas of Calderdale are affected by the legal blunder, and sought clarification on whether the council was seeking a temporary traffic order “to remedy the worrying parking situation that has already started to develop in Halifax town centre.”

Council leader Stephen Baines said he would give a written response to the questions within seven days.

It was revealed last week that on-street parking spaces in Halifax town centre and Skircoat had been unlawful since March 2008 due to errors in legal papers.

The council suspended on-street parking charges in Halifax town centre and has been inundated with requests for refunds for penalty notices and parking charges.

Coun Baines estimates that the blunder will cost the council more than £500,000.