Cirencester residents rejoice as Gloucestershire County Council walk away from on-street parking plans

Cirencester residents rejoice as council walk away from on-street parking plans

Cirencester residents rejoice as council walk away from on-street parking plans

First published in News Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

CIRENCESTER residents have said they are delighted to hear that the county council has finally listened to them and abandoned all plans for on-street parking in the town.

The Cirencester Parking Partnership (CPP), led by Gloucestershire County Council - and made up of representatives from the county, district and town councils and the Cirencester Chamber of Commerce - put forward plans to replace Castle Street’s single yellow line with a pay and display parking bay.

A consultation began but it was soon clear that the plans were faced with an overwhelming opposition and many residents said they were just not being listened to by the council.

Earlier this week, an announcement was made to say that GCC had dropped the idea completely after learning that 95 per cent of the hundreds of people who responded to the consultation were against on-street parking in the town.

Mayor of Cirencester Joe Harris has been involved in the plans for more than a year.

He said he is happy the idea of on-street parking has been dropped by GCC but disappointed that a solution to Cirencester’s parking problem has still not been found.

“People are not using car parks here,” said Cllr Harris. “Cars just park on the street. We need to look at this. GCC needed to be standing up for people and talking to them. Unfortunately people were just not listened to.”

GCC set up a consultation to try and discuss the matter with residents, but many said they felt like their ideas were being ignored. The council had hoped that the parking meters on streets would make parking more convenient.

Chairman of the Cirencester Residents' Parking Group Sally Hilliker said she was delighted that GCC had walked away from the plans.

“We are pleased that they are not going to put street meters out but not too happy that they did not take a blind bit of notice of the street survey we carried out,” she said.

Sally and other members of the parking group surveyed all those living on roads where they had to pay for parking already. She said GCC “ignored” the information they collated.

GCC commissioning director for communities and infrastructure Nigel Riglar said he was disappointed that the council could not help with parking issues in Cirencester.

“The local community and some of their representatives made it clear through the recent public consultation that they do not want the changes suggested,” he said.

“The county council has a duty to taxpayers to make the best use of its resources, so we have withdrawn from the partnership until there is consensus amongst all those involved.”

Cllr Harris went on to say that at the end of the day, it was all about parking charges in Cirencester.

“The partnership research showed that there are empty spaces in the town’s car parks,” he said. "We have to encourage people into the town centre."

Cotswold District Council came under fire earlier this year for making a £10 million profit on car parking charges since 2006. A spokesman for CDC said the council would continue to work with its partners to try and find a parking solution for Cirencester.

“The use of Cotswold District Council’s off-street car parks is under regular review and we will continue to monitor usage,” he said.

CDC cabinet member responsible for parking issues Cllr Chris Hancock said he hoped that there could be more discussion about parking for the benefit of those local to Cirencester as well as visitors.

He said: "I am happy to meet to see what prospects there are of any degree of consensus being generated between the interested parties."

Comments (24)

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6:49am Fri 11 Jul 14

Olly Cromwell says...

To be fair to Tory-run Gloucestershire County Council once the residents of Cirencester sent this raspberry they at least worked out it wasn't worth the aggro to pursue their mad parking meter proposals.

Meanwhile, Tory-run Cotswold District Council carries on regardless, fleecing the motorist in Cirencester car parks in order to subsidise the Council Tax freeze on those honey coated £700,000 cottages of Chipping Campden.

With no-one wanting to step up to the plate to defend their indefensible policy it is noted the CDC Tory Group press-ganged an Independent Councillor to jump ship for immediate promotion to the Tory Cabinet to hold the poisoned chalice of car parking hikes.

Let's hope Cllr Turncoat Hancock's vastly increased allowance makes it worth his while to take all the forthcoming flak !
To be fair to Tory-run Gloucestershire County Council once the residents of Cirencester sent this raspberry they at least worked out it wasn't worth the aggro to pursue their mad parking meter proposals. Meanwhile, Tory-run Cotswold District Council carries on regardless, fleecing the motorist in Cirencester car parks in order to subsidise the Council Tax freeze on those honey coated £700,000 cottages of Chipping Campden. With no-one wanting to step up to the plate to defend their indefensible policy it is noted the CDC Tory Group press-ganged an Independent Councillor to jump ship for immediate promotion to the Tory Cabinet to hold the poisoned chalice of car parking hikes. Let's hope Cllr Turncoat Hancock's vastly increased allowance makes it worth his while to take all the forthcoming flak ! Olly Cromwell
  • Score: 3

12:25pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Susie Clark says...

What a lot of tosh , Olly. What on earth does the decision of Cirencester residents have to do with houses in Chipping Campden - it couldn't be that you have a personal vendetta going on ? And I didn't know that a council tax freeze only applied to Chipping Campden. We also benefit in Cirencester , in case you hadn't noticed.In fact, better than that - we have a reduction.
Anyway, back to on-street parking. If residents parking is an issue, why didn't Cirencester Town Council suggest free residents only areas , such as Ashcroft Rd. , St. Peter's Rd., etc. it's done elsewhere, so why not Cirencester ?
As for Cllr. Harris's comments that " people are not using car parks here" I don't know when he does his shopping - he should try finding spaces in the Brewery car park on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
What a lot of tosh , Olly. What on earth does the decision of Cirencester residents have to do with houses in Chipping Campden - it couldn't be that you have a personal vendetta going on ? And I didn't know that a council tax freeze only applied to Chipping Campden. We also benefit in Cirencester , in case you hadn't noticed.In fact, better than that - we have a reduction. Anyway, back to on-street parking. If residents parking is an issue, why didn't Cirencester Town Council suggest free residents only areas , such as Ashcroft Rd. , St. Peter's Rd., etc. it's done elsewhere, so why not Cirencester ? As for Cllr. Harris's comments that " people are not using car parks here" I don't know when he does his shopping - he should try finding spaces in the Brewery car park on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Susie Clark
  • Score: 3

2:59pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Col Mustard says...

Elections due ! .......... no other reason.
Elections due ! .......... no other reason. Col Mustard
  • Score: -4

3:04pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Col Mustard says...

GGC should get the shovels out and start filling in potholes now that "Dave" has allegedly given them an extra £3.4m to spend on tarmac....

I use the word allegedly as Conservatives can never break the habit of lying !
GGC should get the shovels out and start filling in potholes now that "Dave" has allegedly given them an extra £3.4m to spend on tarmac.... I use the word allegedly as Conservatives can never break the habit of lying ! Col Mustard
  • Score: -4

4:22pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Iansky says...

Plenty of yellow and now red circles/squares around potholes on roads in town and out to include major routes (Ciren to Chppenham), I can only suspect that the yellow was a first hit and now red indicates they are critical!

I know that we still have some shocking roads in town (they broke a spring on our car last year and still have not been fixed effectively) I have also seen afew cyclist nearly dethroned recently when cycling back from the open air pool to town!

To add to that there are still pavements that need attention in town before we have more trips & falls.

Glad to see common sense has prevailed over the street parking.
Plenty of yellow and now red circles/squares around potholes on roads in town and out to include major routes (Ciren to Chppenham), I can only suspect that the yellow was a first hit and now red indicates they are critical! I know that we still have some shocking roads in town (they broke a spring on our car last year and still have not been fixed effectively) I have also seen afew cyclist nearly dethroned recently when cycling back from the open air pool to town! To add to that there are still pavements that need attention in town before we have more trips & falls. Glad to see common sense has prevailed over the street parking. Iansky
  • Score: 2

6:11pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Crispin Mount says...

I'm sure readers of 'The Standard' will be interested to learn Mr. Clifton-Brown MP gets some CDC car parking fees refunded on expenses.

The IPSA (independent parliamentary standards authority) register ref. 0000261079 shows a £3 claim from 20/4/2013 for our Cotswold MP being claimed and fully refunded when he ran a surgery in Cirencester.

Such irony; the only person to escape the loathed local Tory car parking charges is the actual Tory MP. You couldn't make it up.

What is slightly troubling is there is no £3 charge payable with these machines - unless you have no silver change and choose to overpay.
I'm sure readers of 'The Standard' will be interested to learn Mr. Clifton-Brown MP gets some CDC car parking fees refunded on expenses. The IPSA (independent parliamentary standards authority) register ref. 0000261079 shows a £3 claim from 20/4/2013 for our Cotswold MP being claimed and fully refunded when he ran a surgery in Cirencester. Such irony; the only person to escape the loathed local Tory car parking charges is the actual Tory MP. You couldn't make it up. What is slightly troubling is there is no £3 charge payable with these machines - unless you have no silver change and choose to overpay. Crispin Mount
  • Score: 1

7:33pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Rex Cooper says...

If Susie Clark can't join the dots between car parking charges in Cirencester and honey coated cottages in Chipping Campden and a freeze on council tax then she/he doesn't know much about local politics - which I can't believe is the case !
I on the other hand am not allied to a party but I do care about Cirencester and think that CDC and GCC and its tory majority do not care about the town. Look at the state of the roads and public realm generally and don't get me started on housing plans ! Mind you I'm not sure where the Lib Dems in Cirencester stand on housing at Chesterton either - probably on the fence.
If Susie Clark can't join the dots between car parking charges in Cirencester and honey coated cottages in Chipping Campden and a freeze on council tax then she/he doesn't know much about local politics - which I can't believe is the case ! I on the other hand am not allied to a party but I do care about Cirencester and think that CDC and GCC and its tory majority do not care about the town. Look at the state of the roads and public realm generally and don't get me started on housing plans ! Mind you I'm not sure where the Lib Dems in Cirencester stand on housing at Chesterton either - probably on the fence. Rex Cooper
  • Score: -1

7:40pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Ciren_Resident says...

As Susie Clark rightly says, we all benefit from any freeze or reduction in Council Tax (the reduction in CDC's share of Council Tax this year actually being the joint highest in the country). I might suggest that Olly Cromwell needs to lose that rather large chip from his shoulder!

Also, I don't suppose the Lib Dems on CDC would have complained too much if an independent councillor had decided to join their ranks!

Our esteemed Mayor, who last I heard (please correct me if I'm wrong) doesn't even hold a driving licence, continues to make very sweeping claims about off-street parking which don't appear to have any factual basis. I agree with Susie that the town's car parks generally seem quite full to me during the day - perhaps Cllr Harris can produce some evidence?

As for Geoffrey Clifton-Brown being the "only person to escape the loathed local Tory car parking charges", I imagine there are many, many people out there in both the public and private sectors who are able to claim back expenses for parking when using their cars for work-related business. I know I do!!
As Susie Clark rightly says, we all benefit from any freeze or reduction in Council Tax (the reduction in CDC's share of Council Tax this year actually being the joint highest in the country). I might suggest that Olly Cromwell needs to lose that rather large chip from his shoulder! Also, I don't suppose the Lib Dems on CDC would have complained too much if an independent councillor had decided to join their ranks! Our esteemed Mayor, who last I heard (please correct me if I'm wrong) doesn't even hold a driving licence, continues to make very sweeping claims about off-street parking which don't appear to have any factual basis. I agree with Susie that the town's car parks generally seem quite full to me during the day - perhaps Cllr Harris can produce some evidence? As for Geoffrey Clifton-Brown being the "only person to escape the loathed local Tory car parking charges", I imagine there are many, many people out there in both the public and private sectors who are able to claim back expenses for parking when using their cars for work-related business. I know I do!! Ciren_Resident
  • Score: 2

8:38pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Olly Cromwell says...

A Council Tax freeze helps those in the grandest houses most

Most of the grandest houses are in the north of the district - not Cirencester.

Mayor Harris has a driving licence and is frequently seen around town in his little red Mini car

Apology came there none
A Council Tax freeze helps those in the grandest houses most Most of the grandest houses are in the north of the district - not Cirencester. Mayor Harris has a driving licence and is frequently seen around town in his little red Mini car Apology came there none Olly Cromwell
  • Score: 0

8:55pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Ciren_Resident says...

I stand corrected - congratulations to Cllr Harris on passing his driving test.
I stand corrected - congratulations to Cllr Harris on passing his driving test. Ciren_Resident
  • Score: 1

12:49pm Sat 12 Jul 14

Rex Cooper says...

I for one don't care if the CDC Tory cabinet win the prize for the council that puts up tax least - if the outcome is that Cirencester remains the lowest priority on their list. Not putting up the tax is easy - a monkey could do that - sustaining services is the difficult bit and CDC can't do this. The evidence from GCC and CDC lack of attention to Cirencester is there for all to see.
I for one don't care if the CDC Tory cabinet win the prize for the council that puts up tax least - if the outcome is that Cirencester remains the lowest priority on their list. Not putting up the tax is easy - a monkey could do that - sustaining services is the difficult bit and CDC can't do this. The evidence from GCC and CDC lack of attention to Cirencester is there for all to see. Rex Cooper
  • Score: -1

1:01pm Sat 12 Jul 14

joe.harris says...

The Ciren Parking Partnership's own studies showed that the car parks were only at about 40% capacity where as on street capacity was about 96%.

The electorate don't seem to share your views Ciren_Resident!
The Ciren Parking Partnership's own studies showed that the car parks were only at about 40% capacity where as on street capacity was about 96%. The electorate don't seem to share your views Ciren_Resident! joe.harris
  • Score: -3

2:39pm Sat 12 Jul 14

Ciren_Resident says...

Cllr Harris, are the results of these CPP "studies" in the public domain? If so, perhaps you could share a link to the report or tell us where the research figures are published?
Cllr Harris, are the results of these CPP "studies" in the public domain? If so, perhaps you could share a link to the report or tell us where the research figures are published? Ciren_Resident
  • Score: 3

9:49pm Sat 12 Jul 14

joe.harris says...

GCC have taken them off the website so I've asked them to send me them via email. Email me you address and I'll send them to you.
GCC have taken them off the website so I've asked them to send me them via email. Email me you address and I'll send them to you. joe.harris
  • Score: 0

4:06pm Sun 13 Jul 14

Ciren_Resident says...

Thanks, will do.
Thanks, will do. Ciren_Resident
  • Score: 0

10:53pm Sun 13 Jul 14

Claire.M says...

Olly Cromwell: "A Council Tax freeze helps those in the grandest houses most" .....

Applying that logic, a cut in the basic rate of income tax would obviously benefit someone on £40k pa more than someone on £20k pa. But everyone still benefits as a result of the cut.

Or am I missing something??
Olly Cromwell: "A Council Tax freeze helps those in the grandest houses most" ..... Applying that logic, a cut in the basic rate of income tax would obviously benefit someone on £40k pa more than someone on £20k pa. But everyone still benefits as a result of the cut. Or am I missing something?? Claire.M
  • Score: 2

11:02pm Sun 13 Jul 14

Rex Cooper says...

Claire.M wrote:
Olly Cromwell: "A Council Tax freeze helps those in the grandest houses most" .....

Applying that logic, a cut in the basic rate of income tax would obviously benefit someone on £40k pa more than someone on £20k pa. But everyone still benefits as a result of the cut.

Or am I missing something??
You're definitely missing something. Arithmetic. 5% of £5000 is worth more than 5% of £1000. Apply that logic.
[quote][p][bold]Claire.M[/bold] wrote: Olly Cromwell: "A Council Tax freeze helps those in the grandest houses most" ..... Applying that logic, a cut in the basic rate of income tax would obviously benefit someone on £40k pa more than someone on £20k pa. But everyone still benefits as a result of the cut. Or am I missing something??[/p][/quote]You're definitely missing something. Arithmetic. 5% of £5000 is worth more than 5% of £1000. Apply that logic. Rex Cooper
  • Score: -3

6:40am Mon 14 Jul 14

Claire.M says...

Rex Cooper: if you take just a moment to think about my comment, you'll realise you're actually backing up my argument. So thank you very much!

It seems Olly Cromwell is not in favour of the current freeze/reduction in Council Tax because it benefits "those in the grandest houses most" ... but of course everyone in the Cotswolds benefits from paying less Council Tax, including people on the lowest incomes in smaller Band A/B properties who may actually find the freeze/reduction much more beneficial than a millionaire living in a "honey coated" Band H manor house in the N. Cotswolds.

So what Olly Cromwell appears to be proposing is a cut in parking charges but at the same time an increase in Council Tax across the board for everyone in the Cotswolds in order to penalise people living in the "grandest houses" ... as Olly Cromwell often seems to be unofficial spokesman for the local Lib Dems on these comments pages, I'm just wondering if this is actually on-message party policy??
Rex Cooper: if you take just a moment to think about my comment, you'll realise you're actually backing up my argument. So thank you very much! It seems Olly Cromwell is not in favour of the current freeze/reduction in Council Tax because it benefits "those in the grandest houses most" ... but of course everyone in the Cotswolds benefits from paying less Council Tax, including people on the lowest incomes in smaller Band A/B properties who may actually find the freeze/reduction much more beneficial than a millionaire living in a "honey coated" Band H manor house in the N. Cotswolds. So what Olly Cromwell appears to be proposing is a cut in parking charges but at the same time an increase in Council Tax across the board for everyone in the Cotswolds in order to penalise people living in the "grandest houses" ... as Olly Cromwell often seems to be unofficial spokesman for the local Lib Dems on these comments pages, I'm just wondering if this is actually on-message party policy?? Claire.M
  • Score: 2

9:42am Mon 14 Jul 14

Rex Cooper says...

Far be it for me to know about Lib Dem policy but aren't they in favour of a "mansion" tax so I'd say that Ollie is right on message and your point stymied. Also you're logic and arithmetic on the sums and effects on individuals is still weird. A reduction in tax ( a once in a lifetime occurence ) helps the better off ( euphemism for honey coated etc) much more than the ordinary joe. Keep up at the back !
Main point is why do CDC use Cirencester parking revenue to enable them to artificially keep council tax lower than it otherwise would be. Someone has to pay and its the residents and visitors to and businesses in Cirencester that pay and the "honeycoats" benefit.
Far be it for me to know about Lib Dem policy but aren't they in favour of a "mansion" tax so I'd say that Ollie is right on message and your point stymied. Also you're logic and arithmetic on the sums and effects on individuals is still weird. A reduction in tax ( a once in a lifetime occurence ) helps the better off ( euphemism for honey coated etc) much more than the ordinary joe. Keep up at the back ! Main point is why do CDC use Cirencester parking revenue to enable them to artificially keep council tax lower than it otherwise would be. Someone has to pay and its the residents and visitors to and businesses in Cirencester that pay and the "honeycoats" benefit. Rex Cooper
  • Score: -1

10:08am Mon 14 Jul 14

Susie Clark says...

The question that hasn't been answered in this debate goes back to the original point. Presumably the GCC study tried to address the problem of Cirencester residents not finding anywhere to park outside their homes - otherwise, why the study ?Perhaps when the findings are released we can see why the solution couldn't be to provide residents only streets with free permits - or is that too logical ?
The question that hasn't been answered in this debate goes back to the original point. Presumably the GCC study tried to address the problem of Cirencester residents not finding anywhere to park outside their homes - otherwise, why the study ?Perhaps when the findings are released we can see why the solution couldn't be to provide residents only streets with free permits - or is that too logical ? Susie Clark
  • Score: 1

10:59am Mon 14 Jul 14

Claire.M says...

Rex Cooper .....

*Big Sigh* Yes, of course any across-the-board reduction in tax will generally benefit the better-off more than the "ordinary joe" - I'm not disputing that! Not sure why this particular point is causing you confusion.

Moving on, Olly Cromwell hasn't actually mentioned the totally flawed "mansion tax" policy (being proposed by both Labour and the Lib Dems) - he simply puts forward his opinion (and that's all it is) that CDC is "fleecing the motorist in Cirencester car parks in order to subsidise the Council Tax freeze on those honey coated £700,000 cottages of Chipping Campden".

There is little basis for the argument that parking charges are harming business in Cirencester. An independent report was published a few months ago (reported in the Wilts & Glos Standard, as I recall) which ranked the town in the top ten best performing retail location in the UK. So parking charges can't be doing that much damage to the local economy!
Rex Cooper ..... *Big Sigh* Yes, of course any across-the-board reduction in tax will generally benefit the better-off more than the "ordinary joe" - I'm not disputing that! Not sure why this particular point is causing you confusion. Moving on, Olly Cromwell hasn't actually mentioned the totally flawed "mansion tax" policy (being proposed by both Labour and the Lib Dems) - he simply puts forward his opinion (and that's all it is) that CDC is "fleecing the motorist in Cirencester car parks in order to subsidise the Council Tax freeze on those honey coated £700,000 cottages of Chipping Campden". There is little basis for the argument that parking charges are harming business in Cirencester. An independent report was published a few months ago (reported in the Wilts & Glos Standard, as I recall) which ranked the town in the top ten best performing retail location in the UK. So parking charges can't be doing that much damage to the local economy! Claire.M
  • Score: -1

12:24pm Mon 14 Jul 14

Geoff66 says...

This is clearly good news for Cirencester....all we need to do now, is to look at developing a town-wide parking policy and pricing plan, which attracts more people and visitors to our beautiful town, and which is both fair and reasonable.

Lets not go getting into the history and the politics behind who did and said what....as clearly we can't change the past.... lets now be positive, and do something which benefits our town and which ensures the town's long-term sustainability and financial viability.
This is clearly good news for Cirencester....all we need to do now, is to look at developing a town-wide parking policy and pricing plan, which attracts more people and visitors to our beautiful town, and which is both fair and reasonable. Lets not go getting into the history and the politics behind who did and said what....as clearly we can't change the past.... lets now be positive, and do something which benefits our town and which ensures the town's long-term sustainability and financial viability. Geoff66
  • Score: 2

11:30am Tue 15 Jul 14

Rex Cooper says...

Claire M. Of course car parking charges are harming town centre businesses. Ask them !
As for the report which ranked the town in the top ten in the country - its a load of rubbish - I've read the report and listened to the researchers. If there isn't an agenda there them I'm a chinaman ( can I say that ! )
Cirencester with its second rate boutiques, candle shops and estate agents in the top ten ? Think about it. By the way have you seen any Cirencester residents rejoicing about car parking ? The problem hasn't gone away - just pleased the odd selfish resident
Claire M. Of course car parking charges are harming town centre businesses. Ask them ! As for the report which ranked the town in the top ten in the country - its a load of rubbish - I've read the report and listened to the researchers. If there isn't an agenda there them I'm a chinaman ( can I say that ! ) Cirencester with its second rate boutiques, candle shops and estate agents in the top ten ? Think about it. By the way have you seen any Cirencester residents rejoicing about car parking ? The problem hasn't gone away - just pleased the odd selfish resident Rex Cooper
  • Score: 1

3:32pm Tue 15 Jul 14

Claire.M says...

Rex Cooper, you're obviously entitled to your opinions - but they are no more than that. So does the "agenda" of Colliers International, the global commercial real estate company which produced the independent report (note: highlighting the "outstanding success" of Cirencester's retail attractions), also take in Lincoln and Skegness - the other two shopping locations outside London to make the top ten??
Rex Cooper, you're obviously entitled to your opinions - but they are no more than that. So does the "agenda" of Colliers International, the global commercial real estate company which produced the independent report (note: highlighting the "outstanding success" of Cirencester's retail attractions), also take in Lincoln and Skegness - the other two shopping locations outside London to make the top ten?? Claire.M
  • Score: -3

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