Tuesday, December 17, 2013
A DEBATE on whether to impose parking charges at East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) Knowle HQ in Sidmouth was scuppered thanks to the last-minute intervention of the authority’s leader.
Independent councillor Roger Giles has called for the move – saying it will generate up to £70,000-a-year.
He tabled a notice of motion on the subject at a full council meeting last Wednesday (December 4) but Councillor Paul Diviani stepped in before it could be talked over.
The leader moved the matter to a future meeting of the council’s cabinet - at which car parking charges are already being discussed.
Cllr Giles, who represents the Ottery St Mary town ward, has long called for a ‘reasonable’ parking charge to be introduced at Knowle ‘as soon as practically possible’.
Previous proposals have been rejected but Mr Giles says the matter has ‘added importance’ now because of EDDC’s controversial ambition to relocate from Sidmouth.
Mr Giles also wants to see the entitlement of life-long free car parking for EDDC honorary aldermen in its car parks scrapped.
He told the Herald: “The Conservative leadership at EDDC claims that it is necessary to relocate away from Knowle because it is uneconomic.
“Here is an opportunity to obtain an annual income of something like £50,000 to £70,000 per year even on a very modest charge of £1 per day. Compare this with people having to pay £1 an hour in EDDC public car parks.
“This would produce a very different financial picture of the costs of remaining at the Knowle, or moving somewhere else.”
Cllr Diviani said he intervened before the motion was debated as car park issues are currently on the agenda of EDDC’s cabinet and overview and scrutiny committee and these would be a better forum for the matter.
“We consistently do our best to deliver in an orderly and businesslike manner,” he added.