Councillor takes parking critics to task

Coun Barry Collins in Illingworth.
Coun Barry Collins in Illingworth.

Calderdale Council has defended its decision not to reverse its controversial evening car parking charges in Halifax town centre.

Cabinet approved the decision not to honour amendments to reverse the charges made to the Council’s budget by a coalition of the Liberal Democrat and Conservative groups in February.

The Council has said that by keeping the evening parking charges, it has been able to freeze charges until at least spring 2017.

Deputy council leader Barry Collins said: “The fact is that these plans were passed when the Liberal Democrats were on the Cabinet - they then chose to take a different view with their secret budget amendment.”

Coun Collins said the changes to parking charges across Calderdale have been a success and have surpassed expectations in terms of revenue and car park use.

He said the Council has responded positively to unforeseen issues, such as by removing parking charges from Church Lane car park in Brighouse in response to complaints that drivers were parking on residential streets.

He said: “What I promise is that we will continue to monitor the situation and respond to any individual issues that are raised.”

He added that many of the complaints made about the parking charges had come from members of the Conservative party who were using the issue to gain political ground.

He said: “The key is for us to try and provide an overall parking service that’s effective for the local community but is also within the Council’s budget.”