I take issue with your car parking comments
1:42pm Wednesday 16th May 2012 in Letters
AS A member of the newly formed Cirencester Parking partnership, I take issue with the comments made by Gerald Wilkinson in his letter to the Standard which was published on May 3 - Town needs better parking.
Mr Wilkinson calls for lateral thinking to focus on car parking needs in Cirencester. He is obviously not aware that the recently created Cirencester Parking Partnership - bringing together representatives of the District Council, Town Council, Chamber of Commerce and the County - was designed to meet that need.
It's early days yet but we are making good progress on examining the strategic requirements across the town and considering issues such as attracting tourists while ensuring we can accommodate the needs of local residents and businesses. Bringing together parties with different perspectives is a refreshing and positive move and I trust that Mr Wilkinson will welcome this development.
More specifically, Mr Wilkinson referred to the delay in installing solar-powered pay and display machines at Cotswold District Council's Brewery Car Park, and queried what was happening. Well, if he cares to look again, he will see that there are six machines now up and running in the car park.
There was a slight delay in their introduction but this was due to financial processing problems which had nothing to do with the District Council, albeit we pushed hard to make sure those issues were resolved as soon as possible. Mr Wilkinson will also be pleased to note that customers using the new machines have to press a green button for a ticket.
He also suggested installing solar-powered machines at the District Council car park and making it available to everyone on weekends with cheap tariffs. He is obviously not aware of the costs involved in setting this up and the likelihood that it will be under-used, especially since there are normally ample spaces in car parks nearer the centre and all of them, with the exception of the Brewery, are free to users from 6pm on Saturdays through until 8am on Mondays.
He also queried why ‘CDC staff park for free’, however I can confirm that, with the exception of the Civil Enforcement Officers undertaking parking enforcement in these car parks, CDC staff, including myself, pay for public parking alongside all other customers.
Mr Wilkinson has also incorrectly stated that "you cannot tow away from an off street car park". As these car parks are on council-owned land, and the power to tow vehicles is detailed within the Parking Order for off-street car parks, the council can tow cars should the circumstances warrant this enforcement measure.
CLAIRE LOCKE Head of Environmental Services Cotswold District Council