COTSWOLD District Council (CDC) members voted unanimously in support of a motion to urge the county council to undertake a review of on-street parking in Cirencester.

Leader of Cotswold Lib Dems, Cllr Joe Harris, presented the motion to fellow members at a full council meeting on Thursday, with the last review having taken place four years ago.

“Parking in Cirencester has always been a hot topic whether it relates to the cost of parking or indeed the ability to park is an issue that never ceases to get emotions running and to set the heart beating a little faster,” he said.

“The truth is, not enough has been done over the years in order to deal with parking in our town and the future demand for it. This applies to both on-street parking and off-street parking in our car parks.”

CDC set up a parking demand project board last June to find off-street parking solutions for the town, which led to the decision to implement decked parking on the Waterloo.

Cllr Harris said, according to Gloucestershire County Council (GCC), the last review “ultimately failed because a consensus couldn't be reached”.

“In my opinion, and the opinion of many residents, this wasn't the case,” he said.

“It was more to do with the fact that the county council didn't conduct the review in a holistic way, initially.

“As a result, many residents were offered schemes that they didn't need or ask for, while areas that desperately needed a change didn't get the scheme that they needed,” he said.

He said the resulting decision to introduce pay and display parking meters “on predominantly residential streets” only “added to the feeling that this wasn’t done for the right reasons”.

“A lot of people got the impression that it was being done to line the council's pockets rather than solve the issues that residents were having.”

Cllr Harris said he has been lobbying for a new review ever since the last one ended which coincided with when he was elected to the council.

He went on to say, “having spoken to officers and residents, it is clear that a lot has been learnt from the last review” while the “noises coming out of Shire Hall are good”.

“I am pleased that the town council have offered their support. I just also think if the district council were also to get on board it would send a clear message to the county council that we mean business,” he said.

“Let's take action on this, let's – sorry for the pun – park any reservations we have and make living and visiting the Cotswolds an easier experience,” he added.