Last night at Corporate, Community and External Affairs I seconded Councillor Epps' motion to call-in and reconsider the decision by Cabinet to start charging unfairly for discretionary parking permits.
Currently it doesn't cost anything to apply for a discretionary permit but earlier in the week the Reading Borough Council Cabinet decided to start charging £50 for the application -- whether you are successful or not -- and what's more another eye watering £250 for the permit if you are successful.
In Newtown -- the Park Ward bit -- we currently have parking permits in the west half but not in the east half. Generally there are parking spaces available in the parking permit half but only parking permit holders can use them. It is normally very hard to find a parking space in the non-permit parking half during peak times -- which is used as an overflow car park, a long stay car park and a park-and-ride.
Discretionary parking permits are one way to create a fairer system across the whole of Newtown -- you can apply for one if you live within 200 m of a permit parking road. I have been supporting residents from the east of Newtown in getting discretionary parking permits which then allows them to the Park in the west of Newtown where there are spaces. If a £50/£300 charge were to be levied by the Council for discretionary parking permits it would make the system even more unfair, with only the very rich being able to afford one.
I hope that this decision is overturned and discretionary parking permits become free again.