Plan to impose parking charges in Saltburn branded 'ridiculous'

PLANS to spend £20,000 on an independent consultation over parking proposals in Saltburn have been slammed by politicians, residents and businesses alike. Graeme Hetherington visited the town to gauge the strength of feeling.

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council plans to spend the cash to canvass the opinion of the public despite a pre-consultation exercise showing there was overwhelming support to reject the plans.

And the decision has been branded a ‘ridiculous’ waste of time by Tom Blenkinsop, the Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP, when he launched a scathing attack on the plan to spend much-needed council taxpayers money on the consultation.

He said: “It seems utterly ridiculous that Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council have not just scrapped these proposals when Saltburn is near-unanimously opposed to them, and even more bonkers that they propose wasting £20,000 to conduct ‘market research’ about them.

“It is absolutely clear that the people in this town do not want these proposals to progress. As such, the Council has no mandate to introduce parking restrictions, yet they are wasting £20,000 of taxpayers’ money in a disgraceful attempt to potentially justify the introduction of this scheme.”

And Fiona Carter, who works in Grasers fruit and vegetable shop, said: “I just don’t get the reasoning behind changing the parking in the town, other than for financial reasons. The vast majority of people I have spoken to are opposed to the plans and they could have a devastating effect on local businesses.”

Ian Crockett, of The Cave, said: “We have been in the town for 24 years and invested a lot of time and money in the business and it could all be ruined by the parking changes. Some of our customers, who travel from across the region, have already raised concern about paying parking charges when they visit the town.

“This town is the jewel in the crown of the North-East coast with people having access to culture that isn’t available in other seaside towns and these plans could ruin all of that.”

The pre-consultation exercise carried out by the council received around 2,000 responses with more than 99 per cent of people strongly opposed to the proposals.

East Cleveland Independent councillor Steve Kay said: "Instead of all this prevarication, inflexibility and unjustified expense, why doesn't Councillor Goldswain just capitulate to public opinion and leave the parking situation in Saltburn alone?

“Why waste time and effort on coming to an opinion about which the whole of Redcar and Cleveland is already agreed? Absolutely no one, outside the Council's Labour Group, wants parking charges in Saltburn."

Announcing the plan to go ahead with the consultation process, Cabinet member for Community Protection, Councillor Steve Goldswain, said: “Around 2,000 responses were received as part of the pre-consultation and it is clear from this that further detailed work with stakeholders needs to be carried out.

“At the request of many of those that responded to the consultation a closer look at the impact of the proposals especially in relation to the local economy will be undertaken.”

Residents' parking zones are being suggested for the following streets: Marine Parade, Coral Street, Garnet Street, Back Garnet Street, Ruby Street, Emerald Street, Diamond Street, Pearl Street, Albert Court, Amber Court, Amber Street, Convalescent Street, Grove Side Cottage, Milton Street, Dundas Street East, Dundas Street West, Station Square, Station Street, Bath Street, Exeter Street, Bristol Avenue, Hilda Place, Zetland Terrace, Hazelgrove, Stanhope Street, Cleveland Street and Balmoral Terrace.

Under the proposals, pay-and-display charges would come into effect in part of Marine Parade, while there would be limited waiting in Milton Street, Dundas Street East and Dundas Street West.

Once the research is finished a report will go to the Council’s Cabinet outlining the findings, at this point cabinet will be asked decide if the proposals or any amendments go to statutory consultation.

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Comments (3)

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10:44am Wed 13 Feb 13

Ally F says...

Sometimes you wonder whether any local Government repesentative is capable of making a decision.

In the current economic climate, with traditional town centre shops closing at an alarming rate and swimming against the tide just to keep afloat, local businesses need all the help they can get. You can charge all you want to park in the area, but if there's no reason to go and park there (i.e. no businesses or shops left) it won't raise any revenue. People will simply go out of town where parking is free and where they don't risk getting a ticket from some over-zealous warden enforcing some totally unneccssary ill-considered parking restrictions.

There will be a mixed response; local traders will not favour the introduction of car parking charges or restrictions, local residents may favour their introduction if there are parking problems in the area. On balance however, the needs of local business probably outweights residents' concerns. Without the local businesses the area will decline and the value of local properties likewise.

Stop waffling on about stakeholders, consultations, pre-consultations and get on with the job you are paid to do. Rather than commission a report at extortionate cost to tell you the blindingly obvious, get out of the office and go and visit a similar areas with similar problems so see how they were addressed and what worked and what didn't. You won't please everybody, just make the common sense decision that's best for the area and the majority.
Sometimes you wonder whether any local Government repesentative is capable of making a decision. In the current economic climate, with traditional town centre shops closing at an alarming rate and swimming against the tide just to keep afloat, local businesses need all the help they can get. You can charge all you want to park in the area, but if there's no reason to go and park there (i.e. no businesses or shops left) it won't raise any revenue. People will simply go out of town where parking is free and where they don't risk getting a ticket from some over-zealous warden enforcing some totally unneccssary ill-considered parking restrictions. There will be a mixed response; local traders will not favour the introduction of car parking charges or restrictions, local residents may favour their introduction if there are parking problems in the area. On balance however, the needs of local business probably outweights residents' concerns. Without the local businesses the area will decline and the value of local properties likewise. Stop waffling on about stakeholders, consultations, pre-consultations and get on with the job you are paid to do. Rather than commission a report at extortionate cost to tell you the blindingly obvious, get out of the office and go and visit a similar areas with similar problems so see how they were addressed and what worked and what didn't. You won't please everybody, just make the common sense decision that's best for the area and the majority. Ally F
  • Score: 1

2:37pm Wed 13 Feb 13

st-george1 says...

At a time when they have just lost a £78,000 high-court case for wrong-doing, some feel the Council of Redcar & Cleveland will still be in the hands of the Labour Party for another 50 years or so and STILL squandering cash as if there were no tomorrows, there seems to be a growing concern that by focusing cuts on frontline services, rather than salaries and pet projects like parking charges, R&CC are using 'reduced budgets' as a political battering ram with which to inflict damage on the people of Saltburn this time around … so maybe its time to call on Labour MP Thomas Blenkinsop to use some of his political influence and warn the Labour Councillors of the threat of expulsion if they choose to ignore the opposition to this ill-fated plan and even the government’s Mr Pickles !!!
At a time when they have just lost a £78,000 high-court case for wrong-doing, some feel the Council of Redcar & Cleveland will still be in the hands of the Labour Party for another 50 years or so and STILL squandering cash as if there were no tomorrows, there seems to be a growing concern that by focusing cuts on frontline services, rather than salaries and pet projects like parking charges, R&CC are using 'reduced budgets' as a political battering ram with which to inflict damage on the people of Saltburn this time around … so maybe its time to call on Labour MP Thomas Blenkinsop to use some of his political influence and warn the Labour Councillors of the threat of expulsion if they choose to ignore the opposition to this ill-fated plan and even the government’s Mr Pickles !!! st-george1
  • Score: 0

4:08pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Richard Ineson says...

Just another Council, money raising exercise which will damage local businesses at a very crucial time for everyone. The last time I was in Saltburn I saw a sign in the window of the bank near the station, 'This branch has closed, permanently', which just sums up the desperate straits in which many towns in the north east, find themselves. As for that old favourite 'public consultation' this is just window dressing along with that other old favourite of our Councillors STAKEHOLDER STEERING GROUPS unaccountable, unelected, unmandated, anonymous, groups of people with vested interests who squander public money in their own interests.
Just another Council, money raising exercise which will damage local businesses at a very crucial time for everyone. The last time I was in Saltburn I saw a sign in the window of the bank near the station, 'This branch has closed, permanently', which just sums up the desperate straits in which many towns in the north east, find themselves. As for that old favourite 'public consultation' this is just window dressing along with that other old favourite of our Councillors STAKEHOLDER STEERING GROUPS unaccountable, unelected, unmandated, anonymous, groups of people with vested interests who squander public money in their own interests. Richard Ineson
  • Score: 0

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