Councillors who questioned parking fees have cost the authority £100,000

Councillors who scrutinised plans to increase parking charges across Sheffield have cost the authority almost £100,000, says a Cabinet member.

By Lucy Ashton
Thursday, 18 April, 2019, 08:30
Coun Lewis Dagnall

Coun Lewis Dagnall, cabinet member for environment and streetscene, announced a raft of changes to meters and permits but a number of Liberal Democrat councillors put the brakes on the idea.

Under council rules, if five councillors object, a decision can’t go ahead until it has been considered by a scrutiny committee.

But Coun Dagnall says the delay while the matter went before the scrutiny board has cost the council £95,000.

He told a meeting of the Cabinet: “Members have a right to call decisions in but by calling the decision in at this point it has cost £95,000 to parking services because of the delay in raising the fees.

“It also meant that initiatives such as free green parking permits for low emission vehicles and free carers permits have been delayed by a few weeks which is disappointing.”

Cabinet has now agreed the proposals which will include doubling Sunday fees and raising permits by 30 percent. It is the first time in seven years the council has raised fees. Despite the increase they say they are still one of the cheapest core cities for parking.

Lib Dem Coun Ian Auckland, shadow cabinet member for transport, was the initial objector to the proposals and was backed by councillors Penny Baker, Gail Smith, Vickie Priestley and Martin Smith.

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They wanted to “examine the predicted environmental, financial, commercial and retail impacts of the proposals in the report”.

The full changes, set to come into force from April 1, are:

Parking will increase from £1 for the first half hour to £1.30 from Monday to Saturday from 8am to 8.30pm, or £2 for up to four hours or on Sundays (up from £1 per day) in central zone one.

Parking in central zone two will increase from £1 per hour to £1.30 per hour from 8am to 8.30pm Mondays to Saturdays; £2 from 4,30pm to 8.30pm and £2 for Sunday parking.

Parking in central zone three will now be £1.30 per hour or £6.50 for all day parking, or £2 from 4,30pm to 8.30pm and £2 for Sunday parking.

Off-street parking rates will also increase by 30p per hour; short-stay all-day tariffs will increase to £5 a day and long-stay tariffs to £6.50 per day.

Dispensations and bay suspensions will also increase from £10 per day to £15 per day – the same as Rotherham and £5 cheaper than Doncaster.