Sheffield Council told to sort out ‘can of worms’ parking
Sheffield City Council have approved plans to increase parking across the city, including doubling Sunday fees and raising permits by 30 percent.
They were also urged to sort out parking across the city when a decision to increase fees was put under scrutiny last night.
The decision to raise charges was 'called in' for by Liberal Democrat councillors Ian Auckland and Colin Ross.
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.
A number of opposition councillors included at least one free day of parking a week in their budget proposals to attract more people to the city centre.
But Coun Lewis Dagnall, cabinet member for transport, said this would not be feasible.
He said: “I do understand the siren call of free parking, it sounds very attractive but I don’t think it’s the right thing to do for a council that wants to encourage use of public transport and buses. We should not be subsidising free parking in the way the Lib Dems suggest as it also makes it more difficult for people to find a place to park.
“This is not a money-making exercise. In real terms, due to inflation, prices have actually decreased over time.”
Coun Wood, representative of Woodhouse ward, called the situation with parking “appalling” and said: “I just feel this is a right can of worms that we as politicians should get in to and sort out.”
He also suggested the council regain control over car parks leased out to private companies which he said could raise enough to enable a free day of parking.
He said: “Why are we not managing these ourselves? Why are we leasing these car parks to private companies for them to take 70 to 80 percent of the money. Coun Dagnall could probably afford to do Saturday as free parking day. This is just not joined up thinking by the council.
“We could be getting in excess of £100,000 a year from one car park. It can’t be any more difficult to collect the money from a car park being leased out to a private company than it can be to run the car parks that we’ve got.”
Ben Brailsford, parking and services manager, said: “We recognise that and we will be working on it as officers.”
It was decided that no further action would be taken following the meeting.