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Posted by: John Brace | 3rd August 2015

What was the reason for Cabinet’s decision to U-turn on Fort Perch Rock car park charges?

What was the reason for Cabinet’s decision to U-turn on Fort Perch Rock car park charges?

                                            

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

Fort Perch Rock car park 29th June 2015

To very little fanfare, last Friday Wirral Council’s Cabinet Member for Governance, Commissioning and Improvement (and Deputy Leader of the Council) Cllr Ann McLachlan made a delegated decision to abandon plans to charge for car parking at Fort Perch Rock car park in New Brighton.

The decision states “That the Leader of the Council” and is not signed by Cllr Phil Davies, one can only presume that when Wirral Council put in a press release Council Leader Phil Davies has announced he has blocked proposals to charge for parking in New Brighton, what was actually meant was Cllr Phil Davies asked for a report blocking proposals to charge to parking in New Brighton, but when it was decided he was unavailable so left instructions for his deputy to decide to block the proposals.

However that minor quibble aside, what does this decision mean? Firstly the current traffic regulation order consultation process is “discontinued”. This means the Highways and Traffic Representation Panel will now not meet in September to make a recommendation on it.

The decision also states “that the approved proposal to introduce car parking charges at Fort Perch Rock, New Brighton not be implemented”.

Interestingly the decision also states in the reasons for the decision (paragraph 2.5 refers to the report that accompanies the decision) “As described at paragraph 2.5 above, factors which were not known by Cabinet at the time of the approval of the budget proposal have become known during the Traffic Regulation Order consultation process.”

The report that accompanies the decision goes into more detail.

“2.3 As part of the 2015/16 Budget Proposal, Cabinet and Council also agreed to review car parking charges across the Borough to help support business needs.

2.4 In order to implement the parking charge at Fort Perch Rock, the Council has been undertaking consultation as part of the required Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) process. Whilst it is not considered that there are any objections or other representations received which would prevent the TRO proposal being implemented, there are objections relating to traffic regulation which would require consideration of the outcomes of the consultation regarding the TRO by the Highways and Transportation Representations Panel.

2.5 However, it has recently come to light that the legal agreement which was signed between the Council and Neptune Development as part of the Marine Point Development included a clause which stated that should the Council introduce on street car parking charges in New Brighton and/or charges for the Fort Perch Rock Car Park, then the other car parks which formed part of the Marine Point Development could also not unreasonably be prevented from introducing car parking charges.

2.6 The wider introduction of car parking charges to New Brighton could potentially have an impact on visitors and businesses in the area. Given the outcome and budget decision regarding reducing car parking charges throughout Wirral in order to support businesses, this could potentially have a conflicting impact.

2.7 It is therefore proposed that the work to undertake a TRO be halted and that the proposal to introduce car parking charges at Fort Perch Rock, New Brighton, not be implemented.”

The legal agreement referred to above means the lease. Maybe it’s only recently come to light to the author of the report, but I published the three pages of the lease on December 22nd 2014 so it’s hardly recently come to light has it? However as Wirral Council is the landlord for this lease isn’t this a prime example of “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing” or to put it another way silo working.

So how are the books now going to balance? Well the report states that for this year “income for off-street parking is forecast to be greater than budgeted.” and “The overall budget saving of £35,000 will be included in the planned budget for 2016/17, from further efficiencies which will be identified during the current year.”

The decision to not charge at the Fort Perch Rock car park will take effect from the 8th August 2015 (assuming that the decision isn’t called in which is highly unlikely).

UPDATED 18:56 3/8/15 As the TRO process has been discontinued, I’ve made this FOI request to Wirral Council for the number of objections and what was in them.

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Responses

  1. G’day John

    You mention that “Phil the Dill” was unavailable.

    Do you know where the junket is to this year with all the weasels and parasites on board.

    Where have they gone to play golf and try and hoc Kev and Stella’s Stagnant Wirral Waters where they intend to put the kiddies and call centres until it sinks in the mire.

    Ooroo

    James

    • No, I’ve no idea, although there’s another press release on Wirral Council’s website about golf.

      • G’day John

        What a deluded fool.

        Not you John the idiot that has a football shirt on his executive suite wall with his name on it.

        LIAR

        Yes of course The Bear does council golf courses.

        Ooroo

        James

        He thinks because he talks people believe him.

        What a loser.

  2. Mr Brace, you may find that this is the start of the “Mitigation Period” Having had all the “Aggravating Period” I maybe wrong and I can be at times, the party is now over for these people and the rats may well be leaving the sinking ship, but unfortunately for a lot of these people they will have to face the Music so to speak and I will bet you a pinch of Salt to a barrel of S–t they will not face it on their own!!!!!!!!!

  3. So when Neptune developed Marine Point and inserted a clause about parking charges I take it our worthy members werent told, didnt bother going through the details? It has been obvious for years they have had their eyes on New Brighton – not from a traffic management point of view, which is what it actually needs, but from a eyes-like-pennies perspective. Laughable line about supporting local businesses. I remember at the weekend when the area around Conway station was jampacked with shoppers cars. After the introduction of charges it became a ghost town – and remains so. Compare that with the excellent user friendly exp[erience of going to Ellesmere Port. Try it”!

    • I think back when the lease was signed (2011) Wirral Council’s constitution delegated the signing of the 250 year lease to the then Head of Law, HR and Asset Management Bill Norman.

      Wirral Council’s councillors however at some point agreed the constitution that delegated this matter to an employee rather than be decided by councillors.

      The drafting of the lease was outsourced to a legal firm called DWF LLP.

      What the report refers to is that when Cabinet agreed to recommend this budget option in December 2014 to the budget council meeting in February 2015 councillors were not told then about this clause in the lease.

    • Mediapenguin, it has been obvious to me for sometime now, that what Peel does not get, they hand it like carrion to Neptune, both
      companies have offshore Accounts/Divisions in the Isle of Man and invariably all roads from wirral go that way or to an Irish Coffee and/or a Dutch Sandwich (Please examine Mr Braces Contracts and 106 agreements in particular – also Historical Monks Ferry – Cammell Laird, etc).

  4. One only has to look at the Irish experience where developers, banks and the government were all pissing in the same big corrupt pot. Wirral Council are amateurs who will be played like fiddles by developers – and of course as Neptune and Peel are the only boys in town one can only imagine the cosy backroom chats.

  5. Doesn’t take someone with half a brain cell to know soon as you start charging for car parking you lose customers, then shops start closing, people lose jobs, god do i need to go on,
    Oh i forgot is Wirral Council.

  6. G’day John

    I think I love you r old camera even more than your new one.

    I was just watching a full council meeting….as you do on a Monday night.

    You are truly a legend.

    They must really really hate you taping them and their actions.

    Ooroo

    James

    Keep up the great work.

    I suppose if they weren’t so dodgy they would love to be on film.

  7. G’day John

    Unless looks are deceiving another lamb to the slaughter.

    New chief executive for Wirral health trust.

    I wish her well but she doesn’t have a chance against WBC.

    Ooroo

    James

    Ps She won’t last as long as Gra Gra is my prediction.


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