Motion to scrap parking 'perk'
A MOTION has been tabled to scrap what has been deemed as 'a Tory parking perk'.
Labour and non-coalition councillors want the £50 parking permit scheme for councillors to be ditched when council staff have to pay £1 a day, about £300 a year, for the same service.
But some fear the changes in parking policy mean more town centre car park spaces are being taken up by staff and councillors along with spaces in nearby roads and say the proposal must be reviewed.
Labour councillor Darren Cowell is tabling the motion with the backing of non-affiliated councillors and said he was 'furious' about the situation.
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"It's not just the unfairness of the staff scheme, which takes no account of low earning staff against the higher salaries of senior staff, it is insulting to the residents of Torbay."
Cllr Cowell said some staff had told him the town hall car park in Torquay was now full on a regular basis and parking was at a premium along Lymington Road and on feeder roads where it remains free.
He said: "What this scheme is going to do is create an issue for local residents as more council staff members park in their roads, and with shoppers who can't use the car park in town because it's full.
"It defeats the purpose and will not raise revenues for the council. It will have an impact on the car park revenues."
"Bay residents and businesses are struggling during the double-dip recession and we believe we can help by encouraging shoppers back in to our town centres."
Cllr Mike Morey, who is seconding the motion, said: "I am bitterly disappointed that despite the stated intentions of the administration to be more inclusive there has been no meaningful discussion with opposition councillors on this matter."
The motion comes as outgoing Torbay Council chief executive Elizabeth Raikes defended the £1 a day for staff scheme when challenged by the GMB union saying it was the best option possible.
She said: "This scheme has never been about raising money – in anticipation of the revenues the council has installed better facilities such as showers, lockers and has negotiated deals with the bus company and is contributing to additional rail services.
The motion to scrap the parking permit deals is to be tabled during the full council meeting on September 27.