FurIous backlash as Calderdale councillors give go-ahead to car parking charge changes across district
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Calderdale Council’s Cabinet agreed to implement the proposals, and also to implement some changes which were previously approved but had been put on hold.
The decision has sparked fury from traders in some of Calderdale’s town centres who highlighted the ‘huge impact’ increases would have on businesses ‘already facing a daily fight to survive’.
Opposition leader Coun Steven Leigh (Ryburn) also hit out saying his Conservative group was “totally opposed” to the changes.
It was difficult to understand the logic of such big increases – some by up to 400 per cent, he said – at a time when Calderdale residents were struggling to get by.
His group were ‘calling in’ the decision to be debated by scrutiny councillors who may ask Cabinet to reconsider, he told the meeting this week.
The new charges have met with a backlash, including Brighouse BID, whose co-chair Lesley Adams had written to Calderdale Council leader Coun Scullion asking her to reject the proposals.
The business group had surveyed members who were 92 per cent opposed to the on-street parking charge changes and 100 per cent opposed to the off-street parking charge changes.
While accepting some discussions around charging needed to take place, Ms Adams said: “While understanding the council faces financial challenges, we want to highlight the huge impact we think the increases would have on businesses who are already facing a daily fight to survive in the wake of increasing costs and decreasing consumer spending power.”
Increases - and some reductions - are on the way.
Cabinet member for Public Services and Communities, Coun Jenny Lynn said charges were reviewed regularly.
Money raised from these was ring-fenced to highways issues, including helping pay for maintaining the roads, she insisted.
Councils had suffered cuts in funding over recent years, added Coun Lynn (Lab, Park).
“Increases on the whole have been limited to what they would have been if increases in line with inflation had taken place.
“In some cases, the charges that we’re looking at haven’t haven’t actually been increased for quite a long time.
“In some cases, we’ve actually put the price down,” she said.
Coun Lynn said while increases in some places might seem “significantly” higher than in another, this was because the council was trying to take into account the particular issues facing businesses and residents, which were different in the borough’s different towns and villages.
Having adopted a parking charge policy last autumn, proposals aimed to meet objectives, said Coun Lynn.
For example, trying to discourage people from driving round and round town centres looking for parking spaces and belching out fumes, some of the lesser charges encouraged use of outer edge car parks, she added.
Council leader Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said a submission by Skircoat ward councillor Mike Barnes (Lab) had been taken into account.
This seemed to refer to the issue of residents parking permits, which had been proposed to be £30 for a first permit (up from £25), £60 for a second permit and £90 for a third permit.
Coun Lynn said these would be amended to £30 for a first permit, £40 for a second permit and £60 for a third permit.
This would result in people not paying more than an extra 40p per week for a permit, said Coun Lynn, who added she did not think that was unreasonable.
One resident affected by the parking permit changes, who contacted the Local Democracy Reporting Service, said was supposed to be an administration fee but queried how can it cost more money to process a second or third pass, and residents living in a permit zone had little option but to join.
An online system was introduced last year, so resident permits are now ‘virtual’ and it is only visitor passes that are posted out, she said.
“Surely this means the admin work is less?
“It certainly feels like the council is looking to make some money on this. Other councils in the region do not charge for resident parking permits at all,” she said.
To make the changes, there will be £64,000 capital costs involved but income from charges is expected to £441,000 annually plus another £30,000 from residents’ and visitors’ permits.
This would see net income of £156,000 for the first six months and the full £471,000 for the first full year, councillors were told.
Previously approved changes to some charging and arrangements will now be implemented at Halifax (Lister Court and Union Street South), Sowerby Bridge (Station Road), Todmorden (Dale Street, Dalton Street and Oxford Street), Ripponden (Royd Lane), Mytholmroyd (Burnley Road), and Hebden Bridge (Holme Street).
The new proposed changes will mainly see price rises for car parking – in some cases charges will double – but there are also some reductions in fees.
They include the following:
Halifax’s inner area one and two-hour bays charges will rise by 20p per half hour to £1, outer area four-hour bays by 20p to 80p per hour, and Causeway parking by 30p to 80p an hour with a maximum stay of four hours, charging hours extended to 8pm and the previous capped fee removed.
Users of Halifax’s long stay car parks will see charges remain at 50p per hour with a £3.50 cap from Monday to Friday – but will see a reduction on Saturday when rates would still be 50p per hour but a cap of £2.50.
At Skircoat, Halifax, four hour bay charges will rise by 10p to £1 an hour, with the area’s long stay parking rising 10p per hour to 60p, and the capped rate rise from £2.50 to £3.
For Halifax’s major car parks, charges at North Bridge, High Street and Cross Hills will remain the same but the capped rate will reduce from £3.50 to £2.50.
At Mulcture Hall, Halifax, the £1 all day option on Saturdays will be scrapped but the hourly rate will be unchanged and the capped rate reduced from £3.50 to £2.50 across six days.
And at Hanover Street, Halifax, the capped rate will be reduced from £3.50 to £2.50 and a Saturday £1 all day rate will be introduced, but the King Street car park will see the capped rate removed and a standard charge of 50p per hour introduced.
Bull Green, Halifax, will see rates rise by 20p per hour to £1.20.
At Shibden Park changes will see a 50p for the first half hour rate and hourly charges double to £1 per hour and the capped option rising from £1.50 to £5.
No changes are proposed for St John’s Lane, Akroyd Place, Prescott Street, Union Street and Victoria Street, Halifax, where charges will remain as they are.
In Brighouse, one-hour commercial bays at Commercial Street, Market Street, Bradford Road, Gooder Street, Park Street, Bethel Street, Briggate and King Street will see the 20p per hour rate change to a 20p option for half an hour then a 40p rate for each full hour.
In Brighouse’s main car parks, the rate will rise by 20p an hour to 90p at Bethel Street, and by 10p an hour to 70p at Daisy Street and Owler Ings.
The 70p hourly rate at Parsonage Lane and Commercial Street will not change.
At Mill Lane and Bank Street, Brighouse, the first hour free will be scrapped and the hourly rate rise by 10p to 50p, and the capping rate rise from £2 to £3.50.
At Church Lane the first hour free will remain but the hourly charge rise by 10p to 50p per hour, and the capped rate from £2 to £3.
Charging will be introduced at Crown Street, Elland, at 40p per hour, capped at £2.40 (8am to 6pm).
At Southgate charging will go up by 10p to 50p per hour and the £2.40 cap removed.
The free first hour will be removed at Coronation Street and Boxhall Road, Elland, but the 50p per hour rate will otherwise stay the same, and no changes are proposed to rates at Brook Street.
Hebden Bridge will lose the current free for 30 minutes use of the town’s one-hour bays, with a 20p charge for a first half hour introduced, and after that rates doubling to 40p per hour.
Long stay premium space pay and display bays in Hebden Bridge will be charged at 90p per hour, Monday to Sundays, including Bank Holidays.
Pay and display bays at Hangingroyd Lane; Valley Road; Regent Street; Old Gate and the Buttress will be removed as spaces will be affected by the town’s forthcoming flood alleviation scheme.
The Hebden Bridge car parks which are free at the moment – at Central Street, Salem Street and Hilton Street – will see one hour pay and display bays shared with resident permit holders and a charge of 20p for half an hour and then 40p per hour introduced, if the proposals are backed.
Keighley Road will see a 90p per hour charge introduced, all 8am to 8pm, and some thought given to whether allowing parking there at all can be continued.
Four-hour limit pay and display car parks at St Pol and St George’s Square, Hebden Bridge, will see rates rise by 20p per hour to £1, and the cost of long stay places at Market Place, New Road and Garden Street, Hebden Bridge, will rise by 10p an hour to 80p.
At Wakefield Road, Hipperholme, changes will see a four hour maximum stay introduced and a rate of 30p for the first half hour followed by a 60p hourly rate (an increase of 20p) and the £2 capping option removed.
Rates at Tuel Lane, Sowerby Bridge, will alter from the current 50p per hour, to 30p for the first half hour but then a 60p per hour rate is proposed.
At the Stanley Street and West Street car parks, the hourly rate will rise by 10p per hour to 50p and the capped rate from £2.40 to £3.
Rates for Bramsche Square and School Lane car parks at Todmorden will rise by 30p to 90p per hour, and those at the town’s Lever Street, Union Street and Halifax Road car parks by 10p to 70p per hour.
Charges will also be introduced at Todmorden’s Station Approach parking bays for the first time, with a 50p per hour rate, 8am to 6pm.
Following the amendment the £25 rate for residents’ permits will change to £30 for a first permit, £40 for a second permit and £60 for a third permit.