Parking Policy (Cash Meters) Task and Finish Group
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Chairman of the Parking Policy (Cash Meters) Task and Finish Group, Councillor Brian Gordon, presented the findings and recommendations of the Group. Councillor Alan Schneiderman, a Labour Member of the Task and Finish Group, was also in attendance to address the Committee on recommendation 1 which related to the reintroduction of cash pay and display meters.
Councillor Gordon informed the Committee that the Group had been sympathetic to those that were calling for the return of cash as a parking payment method, but the additional costs to covert the recently introduced credit/debit card machines to accept cash (as detailed on page 24 of the Task and Finish Group report) was an issue. Councillor Gordon highlighted that following the removal of pay and display machines in 2011, the community had reluctantly accepted pay by phone as the primary payment method for parking. It was highlighted that the policy to remove cash meters had already been implemented meaning that the Group had to consider the current position. He advised the Committee that the Conservative Members on the Group had agreed that the success of credit/debit card machines introduced in December 2013 should be evaluated before any recommendation was made to Cabinet whether or not to convert the new machines to accept cash payments.
The Committee questioned whether the reintroduction of cash as a payment method would actually increase churn (the turnover of vehicles parking) on the high street or not. Councillor Gordon highlighted that there were potential further costs arising from the reintroduction of cash as pay and display machines had been vandalised in the past.
Councillor Schneiderman advised the Committee that the written and verbal evidence submitted to the Task and Finish Group had indicated support for the reintroduction of cash pay and display machines in high streets and car parks. It was on this basis that the Labour Group had made an alternative recommendation 1 which proposed the immediate reintroduction of cash as a payment method through the conversion of the recently introduced credit/debit card pay and display machines.
A Member suggested that introduction of pay by phone and the implementation of a cashless parking policy had been very unpopular and had contributed to consumers staying away from town centres.
Officers reported that the total cost detailed in Figure 2 in paragraph 6.3 was incorrect and should be £259,831.
Councillor Moore MOVED a motion that the Committee actively supports the Labour Group recommendation 1. Upon being put to the vote, the motion was LOST. The Chairman informed the Committee that the report of the Task and Finish Group would be referred to Cabinet including both the majority group and minority group recommendations. Cabinet would vote on whether they accepted or rejected the two alternatives for recommendation 1.
RESOLVED that the Committee endorse the report for onward referral to Cabinet on 2 April 2014.
Report author: Andrew Charlwood, Anita Vukomanovic
Publication date: 14/04/2014
Date of decision: 11/03/2014
Decided at meeting: 11/03/2014 - Business Management Overview and Scrutiny Committee