MP Calls on Vale Council to Confirm Position on Parking Charges

The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Cabinet will not consider a report on car parking proposals this month, despite promising to do so, leading to questions over whether they plan to scrap the idea.

The report was expected to recommend the introduction of car parking charges across the Vale.

Alun Cairns MP, who has consistently campaigned against the introduction of parking charges, is calling on the Council to confirm if they are killing proposals once and for all. The process raises questions over the internal costs of the report, which carries an estimated charge to the Council of £45,000.

The Vale MP says that it’s vital that the Council decisively scraps the plans, providing local businesses and residents with certainty. Mr Cairns said that the council must not dither or delay and act promptly to put traders at ease. He added that if the principle of parking charges is introduced, the Council will spend the coming years increasing the costs and the number locations where charges apply.

Mr Cairns warned, “The introduction of charges, even if brought in at a relatively low cost initially, will no doubt be the thin end of the wedge. They will use low charges to simply get the policy agreed and after a year or two, I can see costs spiralling. It risks a huge amount of damage to our high streets and coastal locations, making it even more difficult for shop owners to recruit staff if they have to pay to go to work every day. It penalises those who want to shop local and support local business, making it even more difficult for our traders to be competitive.”

He added, “The machines will come at great expense and it will take years to pay them off before the Council would benefit from any revenue. I cannot see any benefit in pursuing this deeply damaging proposal. What has this council got against our town centres?  Business rates are extortionate, buses services have been cut and now they plan to hammer another nail by introducing carparking charges.  More progressive councils are abolishing charges to boost town centres. The Vale Cabinet now needs to confirm if they are scrapping the plans altogether, as they should.”