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Posted by: John Brace | 22nd July 2015

Over 3,000 people have signed a petition against car parking charges at Fort Perch Rock in New Brighton but what happens next?

Over 3,000 people have signed a petition against car parking charges at Fort Perch Rock in New Brighton but what happens next?

                                                            

Fort Perch Rock car park 29th June 2015 Photo 1 of 3

Fort Perch Rock car park 29th June 2015 Photo 1 of 3

Fort Perch Rock car park 29th June 2015 Photo 2 of 3

Fort Perch Rock car park 29th June 2015 Photo 2 of 3

Fort Perch Rock car park 29th June 2015 Photo 3 of 3

Fort Perch Rock car park 29th June 2015 Photo 3 of 3

Above are three photos of Fort Perch Rock car park in New Brighton taken on the 29th June 2015. Over the busier summer holidays this car park will be full.

Future Council Wirral logo

Future Council Wirral logo

As part of the Future Council consultation last year Wirral Council consulted the public on £2.5 million of budget cuts. In the end only £2.4 million of cuts were agreed because of savings that resulted from the extended Biffa contract.

One of the budget options as part of the Future Council consultation was to introduce car parking charges at the Fort Perch Rock car park in New Brighton. Councillors were told that this would bring in an estimated £25,000 in 2015/16 and £10,000 in 2016/17. A public document (that wasn’t part of the documents shared with the public as part of the Future Council consultation) estimated that the cost of providing cash payment ticket machines would be £20,000 (see section 6.2 page 9).

Last year as part of that budget consultation, there was a public meeting of Wirral Council’s Regeneration and Environment Policy and Performance Committee on the 4th November 2014 where councillors discussed the budget option for charging for car parking at Fort Perch Rock car park.

You can watch that discussion in the Youtube video below which should start at the point about the Fort Perch Rock car park.

The minutes of what was agreed at the public meeting of the 4th November 2014 are included in the agenda for the Cabinet meeting that decided on the budget options.

At that meeting Cllr Jerry Williams (Wirral Council’s Heritage Champion and a Labour councillor) tried to move a recommendation that the budget option of charging at Fort Perch Rock car park be removed from the budget options. However the solicitor advising the Committee said that it couldn’t be removed, so instead it was watered down to a recommendation to Cabinet that the budget option wasn’t adopted. The recommendation was seconded by Cllr Robert Gregson (also a Labour councillor representing New Brighton ward). This is what the recommendation stated:

“The Regeneration and Environment Policy and Performance Committee recommend to Cabinet that the budget option to introduce car parking charges at Fort Perch Rock Car Park, New Brighton is not adopted.”

                                                            
Cllr Irene Williams (Labour), Cllr John Salter (Labour), Cllr Anita Leech (Labour), Cllr Matt Daniel (Labour), Cllr Robert Gregson (Labour), Cllr Jim Crabtree (Labour), Cllr Jerry Williams (Labour), Cllr Steve Williams (Conservative), Cllr John Hale (Conservative), Cllr Jerry Ellis (Conservative), Cllr Andrew Hodson (Conservative) and Cllr David Elderton (Conservative) voted in favour of the recommendation.

Two councillors voted against that recommendation (Cllr Chris Carubia (Lib Dem) and Cllr Mike Sullivan (Chair, Labour)).

On the 9th December 2014 Cabinet (which is ten Labour councillors including one for New Brighton Cllr Pat Hackett) met. They didn’t agree with the recommendation from the Policy and Performance Committee and instead voted to introduce car parking charges at Fort Perch Rock in New Brighton. The minutes of that meeting state “We also feel that it is appropriate to introduce a modest charge for parking at Fort Perch Rock in New Brighton up to 6 p.m.” .

This Cabinet budget proposal then formed the Cabinet’s proposal for Labour’s budget to the 2015/16 budget meeting of all councillors held on the 24th February 2015.

All the Labour councillors on the 24th February 2015 present at that meeting (including those who had three months earlier voted for a recommendation to Cabinet not to start charging for parking at Fort Perch Rock) voted for the Labour budget apart from Cllr Steve Foulkes (who was Mayor and Mayor’s traditionally abstain from votes on party political matters). You can see which way each councillor voted on the Labour’s budget here.

On December 22nd 2014 I wrote When Wirral Council introduces car parking charges at Fort Perch Rock, will 3 hours free parking end for a further 423 New Brighton spaces? which details how if car parking charges are brought in at Fort Perch Rock car park then under the terms of the lease that Wirral Council has for the Marine Point development at New Brighton, that charges could be introduced at two free car parks (the supermarket car park and the health & fitness car park).

Earlier this year Wirral Council had a formal consultation on introducing car parking charges at Fort Perch Rock car park. You can see the public notice (which has more detail as to how much they could charge for parking) for that consultation below. That consultation ended on the 3rd July 2015.

Fort Perch Rock car park public notice

Fort Perch Rock car park public notice

There is a large petition against introducing charging for car parking at Fort Perch Rock car park in New Brighton which at the time of writing has 3,395 signatures.

So what happens next? In September there will be a public meeting of the Highways and Traffic Representation Panel to consider objections people have made to introducing car parking charges at Fort Perch Rock car park.

The Chair of the Highways and Traffic Representation Panel is Cllr Steve Williams (Conservative). Cllr Mike Sullivan (Labour) and Cllr Dave Mitchell (Lib Dem) are the rest of the panel. This panel meets during the day and if any of the three councillors can’t make it to the meeting they can send a deputy in their place.

When the Highways and Traffic Representation Panel meets in September, it will make a recommendation on whether to introduce car parking charges at Fort Perch Rock car park to the Regeneration and Environment Policy and Performance Committee. The Regeneration and Environment Policy and Performance Committee meet in public on the 15th September 2015 starting at 6.00pm in Committee Room 1 at Wallasey Town Hall. The Regeneration and Environment Policy and Performance Committee can alter any recommendation they receive from the Highways and Traffic Representation Panel.

The Regeneration and Environment Policy and Performance Committee then make a recommendation to the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation Cllr Stuart Whittingham who then makes a formal decision on the matter which is published on Wirral Council’s website.

Such a large petition also grants the petition organiser for five minutes to explain their petition at a meeting of all councillors, which then triggers a debate of a maximum of fifteen minutes. However as the next meeting of Council is on the 12th October 2015 (probably after all this will be decided) this is a moot point.

Finally, what’s known now, but wasn’t known last year, is that Wirral Council had an underspend last year of £510,000 last year (which is money that is carried over to this year).

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Responses

  1. The amount of money this will bring in each year , this idear is pointless, but its nice to see our Council trying to screw more money out of us, yet again!, But can allow the car park at the town hall to be free for their own employee’s and last week get workmen in to repair it, yet still can’t fix bloody potholes in the roads!

    • Another car park has been built next to Wallasey Town Hall behind one of the annex buildings.

      When they asked the public last year as part of the budget consultation whether charging for parking at Fort Perch Rock car park was a good idea, they failed to mention in the information to the public that installing parking meters there would cost £20,000. Had they done so would people have been more opposed to the idea?

      I’ve read online (but haven’t checked for myself) that even before the consultation happened on the traffic regulation order that Wirral Council ordered and paid for the machines at Fort Perch Rock car park to sell people pay and display tickets.

      So if this does get knocked on the head by councillors and it’s true the machines were ordered before a final decision was made, then Wirral Council will have forked out about £20k on machines that it can’t use at Fort Perch Rock car park.

  2. Mr Brace, I would say that you cannot be sure of any figures on sums of money, without having a complete and proper audit. I would say that an extremely large amount was spent on me in overtime, expenses, equipment, electronic Surveillance and indeed Court Costs, which I paid for. However what they did not realise at the time was that the whole matter ended in four offences of Theft, One Abuse of Process and there is a lot more to come yet. Now Mr Flanagan, Mr Tour Get me back to court, by one of the bodies you and others left behind to finish the job, because before I go Public after the Ms Degg Comment in Wirral Leaks, I would speak with Rotherham who is still trying to detect my arse and the other cronies connected to him and you certainly know who they are because you were told and the very large on going ” Criminal Enterprise “

  3. G’day John

    So is Ecca finally doing something for his £200,000.00 and cleaning out the crud or is he just doing as The Gang has told him?

    Sign cheques and say nothing?

    Ooroo

    James

    He is really blinking good at saying little.

  4. G’day john

    6.50am and been up for ages, wish I had a job to go too.

    I wonder who is in bed with whom today?

    I don’t get why the Lib Dems and the Tory’s and the Greens except what the Labor gang have done about Wirral “Funny” Bizz? Eff all!

    No wonder they can’t beat the ding bats that are Wirral Labor that stink like a dead dingo’s donga.

    Stealing £2,000,000.00 and spending about £250,000.00 defending the criminals.

    Can’t they read Grant Thornton or DCLG and haven’t they asked Basnett and Adderley.

    Didn’t they hear Adderley and Ball standing lying in public at Gra Gra’s farce of 8 October 2014?

    When someone asks them will they still stay schtum?

    I suggest every time you see a clowncillor or senior officer you should ask them what is happening about prosecuting Wirral “Funny” Bizz.

    Ooroo

    James

    Ps Can’t wait to see the next dollop of good news out of the Northern Shithouse in Wallasey.

    Crazy Golf?

    Stella has returned?

    Were all going on a summer holiday to see????????

    Fracking is us sponsored by big Jack?

    Are they all going to be “Ankles” best man?

    I presume Wirral are paying for the moneymoon err I mean honeymoon.

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