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Car Parking Charges – report from Mendip District Counci’ls Cabinet meeting on 21 May 2018

The outcome is:-

1. Car parking charges will increase, and the Portfolio Holder has authority to increase them for the next three years.

2. Season ticket prices will increase phased over three years. There was a last minute concession almost certainly in response to an email which we sent pointing out that the effect of their changes would be an 8% pay cut for someone working three days a week on the National Living Wage.

3. Parking charges will be introduced on Sundays in Frome and in Shepton Mallet, but at a starting rate of £2 per day, and with exceptions for the days of the Frome Independent Market and the Shepton Market.

4. There will be a strategic review of car parking which will report in the New Year.

In the papers that went to Cabinet the Chamber’s factual corrections were cut, and Cabinet with presented with even more spurious figures about Trowbridge which they said they had got from Wiltshire Council. We couldn’t correct those as we only allowed 3 minutes.

We still await the Freedom of Information response for the financial information that Sedgemoor publishes annually.

We made some progress. The original Cabinet paper proposed that this was the strategic review and included the right for the Portfolio Holder to sell off car parks.

We need to insist on being consulted about Portfolio Holders’ decisions under this decision so that there is a proper process for engagement unlike this one.

We will be proactive in setting the agenda and the process for the strategic review so it is comprehensive, fair and based on facts.

Read Frome Town Council’s coverage of the meeting which also includes some videos of speakers, including Neil Howlett of Harris and Harris Solicitors on behalf of the Chamber.