Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Parking charges: £30,000 “goes into the ether” and comes back as £150,000

We would urge our readers to get hold of this week's copy of the Leopold Street Thunderer which has obtained the nitty gritty of what Highland Council think they can make out of Nairn's car parks. Some interesting figures there about what they want to charge.
Details of proposed parking charges in this weeks Nairnshire

There had been for some time a figure of thirty thousand pounds bandied about in relation to what Highland Council thought they would make out of meters in Nairn. Regular readers may remember our report of what Cllr Tom Heggie had to say at a River Community Council meeting in November: 

“ I understand you are saying very specifically Nairn and the thirty thousand pounds was bandied about. That's gone into the ether now, there will be a full consultation question and answer session with the actual officers who hopefully will clarify some of the questions were a wee bit difficult, went through all kinds of things.” Further details of what Tom had to say here. 

Well it looks like that figure has landed back down out of the ether having been multiplied by five. Here at the Gurn we would once again suggest that readers look through the looking glass to the parallel universe of the Angus Towns where local folk have voted with their accelerators, avoiding the parking charges and heading elsewhere, changing their shopping habits overnight. In these exponentially changing times for retail businesses, Angus provides real time evidence of how local authority money-making projections from parking charges turn to mush as local people decide en masse to stop using car parks. 

In terms of figures that Councillors have to go on in making decisions we would refer our readers to a recent report in the Inverness Courier which highlights criticisms of budgetary matters that are presented to Councillors. Here is a quote from the article: 

"...not providing councillors with the full range of budget detail seen by council managers means a true financial picture is not available to elected members in time for any issues to be properly addressed." 

We would invite our readers to view this disturbing piece of news here: “Council's budget approach slammed in new audit.” 

But back to the topic in hand - don't let it happen here folks, get organised and resist, the Nairn BID have taken a lead in this, please support them in their efforts.

So we conclude again tonight with more news from the Angus parallel universe and a letter that a woman feels compelled to write to her local Conservative Councillor after 6 weeks of parking charges in Kirriemuir. 

“I just sent this email to Mr Ronnie Proctor, i felt the need to do something. 

Dear Ronnie, 

Peter and I have just come back from town. We saw not many people in the streets, but the cars were going round and round looking for a 30 minutes slot. The shops were empty. Several owners told us that their business is suffering badly as regular clients are staying away. 

We had a coffee in Annie Mays just after 2.30, the place was empty. It is so sad to see that the bustling town is devoid of people since the parking meters came in use. She decided to close at 3 o'clock.

Most coffee places in Kirrie are second homes for the elderly folk. People used to come out, in the knowledge their friends would be there to meet them for a coffee and a chat. For many the only human contact of the day. 

I also noticed that people who would love to come to a funeral to say goodbye to a friend or acquaintance, reluctantly stay at home as the parking is too troublesome. 

I don't know about you, but walking through our lovely little town, I feel the heart has been taken out. 
I do urge you, as our senior councilor, to discuss this with the other democratically elected members of the council. I don't think it is too late to save the special character of Kirrie but urgent action is required. It is not my place nor my intention to tell you how to do your important job. Also, in this case, I don't presume to tell you what has to be done. I do know however that a compromise must be possible. 

Kind regards,” 

2019 will be a tough year anyway folks, don't let Highland Council make it even worse by playing Russian Roulette with the town centre economy. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

£150K is doable. £5 a ticket equals 82 cars paying for parking every day to attain that figure.

You would of course have to add to this number as HC will be paying contractors to manage the parking scheme and then there would be admin costs and someone appointed in HC to manage the contractors

I've not read anywhere anyone measuring the possible human cost of parking charges. Jobs lost as the footfall slows and the demise of our High Street. All made worse as there's Sainsbury's at the Balmakeith with at least one other store coming and free parking.