Town council blasts cost of on-street parking waiver

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Stamford Town Council has announced its opposition to the “excessively expensive” fee for an on-street parking waiver for residents.

At a meeting last night (Tuesday) councillors approved a press statement criticising South Kesteven District Council for charging residents £155 for the waiver which has been introduced while a residents parking scheme is looked into.

Last week the district council said the fee was set at a meeting with Lincolnshire County Council, which has now taken on responsibility for parking enforcement. However the county council says it only approved to there being a waiver and the district council set the fee.

The Mercury has asked the district council for further clarification and it issued a statement to say the charge was discussed at a meeting it had with Lincolnshire County Council, when it was felt the cost of the waiver should be in line with charges already in force at car parks. The county says the district set the price.

The town council’s press statement says: “Following the recent decision by South Kesteven District Council in relation to charges for an interim residents’ parking permit, Stamford Town Council wishes to make it clear that it has no powers to regulate a residents’ parking scheme, nor to influence such charges as South Kesteven District Council will levy.

“The scheme as proposed and the charges to be levied are contrary to those recommended by the town council and put forward to both South Kesteven District Council and Lincolnshire County Council.

“The town council’s recommendations were that a residents’ parking scheme should be introduced at “cost only” to assist residents in the historic core of the town.

“Unfortunately, South Kesteven District Council chose not to accept the town council’s recommendations, despite efforts by town and some district councillors, and have introduced an “interim” measure which the town council believes to be excessively expensive, the cost exceeding those levied by central London boroughs, which start at £50-70 per annum, and other surrounding local authorities (Lincoln City currently £26 per annum).

“Stamford Town Council will continue to act for Stamford residents against what the council perceives to be unfair practices by South Kesteven District Council and contrary to the benefit and well being of the town.”

During the meeting Stamford mayor Bob Sandall said: “We will try and hold South Kesteven District Council to account but it is like banging your head against a brick wall.”

Coun Elizabeth Bevan said: “We have got to keep going because if we don’t win this one we must win the next one when the permanent parking fees are set.”

Last week the district council clarified the parking options available to residents in Stamford town centre who fear being penalised for parking outside their homes.

The district council has offered town centre residents discounted tickets for car parks and the waiver while it looks into a residents parking scheme. Town centre residents have parked on the streets of Stamford for years but since the county council became responsible for parking enforcement and introduced wardens, they risk being fined.

There have been complaints to the Mercury over the cost of the waivers and about 20 residents were at last night’s meeting with several speaking out against the waiver cost.

James Lyons, of All Saints Place, Stamford, speaking from the public gallery said: “I understand the residents’ complaints. It has been a form of legalised robbery.

“I think it is appalling they (South Kesteven District Council) have trumped up this figure out of thin air and the people responsible should be pursued with sharp teeth.”