Labour councillors vote against motion to keep free parking in Newport Town centre

South Wales Argus: Newport Council ignores 4,000 residents over free parking axe Newport Council ignores 4,000 residents over free parking axe

THE voices of 4,011 people were ignored by Newport city council last night after a motion over the issue was voted down.

After heated exchanges between the Tory and Labour benches, ruling members voted almost enmasse - with 32 against and 10 votes for - and only one noteable Labour abstention.

Senior Tory Councillor David Fouweather said the whole issue has been run like a pantomine and compared Newport council leader to Captain Hook.

The motion had called for cabinet member Ken Critchley to reconsider his decision to scrap free parking for the city centre.

The Argus has campaigned to keep parking free and 4,011 have signed our petition against the move.

Labour councillors said with the council facing a shortfall in its budget they have to make "difficult choices".

Council leader Bob Bright said the issue had been blown out of proportion and said the council was doing what it could to support traders. He said the group will look at a voucher scheme and a business investment district.

Cllr Critchley, cabinet member for infrastructure, said the council was facing a shortfall of around £8 million.

Cllr Ray Truman, deputy council leader, said: "We have got to make tough choices. We've got to look after the sick and vulnerable."

Labour Cllr Allan Morris, for Lliswerry ward, said it wasn't an issue to "get our knickers in a twist over" and asked if people, when signing petitions, were being asked if they wanted to cut other services.

Cllr Fouweather told the chamber: "I must admit that this decision must have been run like a pantomime, with the leader of the council like that well-known Panto villain Captain Hook."

The councillor criticised the way the decision was taken after the offer of five hours free parking over Christmas: "Why didn't you be up front in the first place and tell people what you were going to do?

Matthew Evans, Tory leader, said free parking had been a huge success: "No one knows what would have happened if we had not taken this decision."

Labour Councillors Tom Bond and Kate Thomas stuck with their party's position during the meeting and voted against the move despite having expressed earlier concerns.



Rogerstone Councillor Chris Evans, who absatined from voting, said the Labour group had "paid lip service" to his alternative voucher scheme proposal to try and tackle the issue.

Cllr Evans' scheme involved a voucher system which would see people rewarded by having their £1 parking ticket refunded if they spend a certain amount locally.

Addressing the chamber, Cllr Evans, said: "I've met and talked with many traders to listen to their concerns.

"I offered an alternative plan, which the Chamber of Trade and the Argus supported but unfortunately this plan was only paid lip service to.

"I've made the fact that I'm frustrated with the way this whole situation has been dealt with known in our group meeting.

"There seems to be a lack of direction and inability or will to engage."

Cllr Evans went on to say: "I contemplated not attending tonight but I needed to stand up for what I believe in.

"There was an alternative I only wish I could have convinced people to embrace it."



Labour councillor for Gaer, Herbie Thomas, said the council had to stop kidding themselves and that no one shopped in the city centre anymore.

He said: "The town centre is finished. Let's not kid ourselves anymore. People shop differently now."

He asked for a show of hands of those who actually shopped at Newport Market, which received a smattering of support.

He said the reason he still shopped in the city centre was because he didn't drive so took public transport there.

Comments (37)

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8:59pm Tue 18 Dec 12

D Taylor says...

4,000 out of a population of 140,000. Not a lot is it? No wonder it was ignored.
4,000 out of a population of 140,000. Not a lot is it? No wonder it was ignored. D Taylor

9:02pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Cazin says...

Just another nail in the death of town centre
Just another nail in the death of town centre Cazin

9:04pm Tue 18 Dec 12

sylwebydd says...

nobody cares
nobody cares sylwebydd

9:06pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Dave on his Soapbox says...

...the rate payer and voters of Newport need to remember how it is....we only see our councillors when they want our votes at election time.

Once they're in power.... it's a case of 'mother knows best' and any real consideration or consultation is token lip service or totally ignoring our wishes.....which considering we fund all services one way or another....is something they fail to remember including their allowances.

Come the next election don't just vote based on the colour of the rosette.... but for candidates who will do what's right for us and not in pursuit of their grandiose 'city' plans
...the rate payer and voters of Newport need to remember how it is....we only see our councillors when they want our votes at election time. Once they're in power.... it's a case of 'mother knows best' and any real consideration or consultation is token lip service or totally ignoring our wishes.....which considering we fund all services one way or another....is something they fail to remember including their allowances. Come the next election don't just vote based on the colour of the rosette.... but for candidates who will do what's right for us and not in pursuit of their grandiose 'city' plans Dave on his Soapbox

9:29pm Tue 18 Dec 12

areyour4real says...

sylwebydd wrote:
nobody cares
It still costs money to run these car parks so it was never free.
So if you walk to town or take the bus you are paying for people with cars to park for free.
People with cars should pay to park them just as bus users pay to use the bus.
This is all so stupid the SWA need to get over themselves!
[quote][p][bold]sylwebydd[/bold] wrote: nobody cares[/p][/quote]It still costs money to run these car parks so it was never free. So if you walk to town or take the bus you are paying for people with cars to park for free. People with cars should pay to park them just as bus users pay to use the bus. This is all so stupid the SWA need to get over themselves! areyour4real

9:44pm Tue 18 Dec 12

BishtonVoice says...

Out here in Bishton we pay rates too. Our roads are potholed because the previous Council ran out of money to fix them. I don't expect the current Council to resurface the road because we can't afford it . I don't expect to park my car for free when I drive into Newport . What I want the Council to do is protect essential services such as education and elderly care. Shopping patterns have changed. Parking won't change that.
Out here in Bishton we pay rates too. Our roads are potholed because the previous Council ran out of money to fix them. I don't expect the current Council to resurface the road because we can't afford it . I don't expect to park my car for free when I drive into Newport . What I want the Council to do is protect essential services such as education and elderly care. Shopping patterns have changed. Parking won't change that. BishtonVoice

9:50pm Tue 18 Dec 12

D Taylor says...

The Kingsway Centre provides more car parking than all the Council city centre sites put together. Or will do when Cambrian closes next month. First two hours free in there.
The Kingsway Centre provides more car parking than all the Council city centre sites put together. Or will do when Cambrian closes next month. First two hours free in there. D Taylor

10:44pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Woodgnome says...

Labour Welsh Govt consider buying Cardiff airport to prop up the welsh economy - invest to stimulate growth. Newport Labour Council charge to park in desolation and consign the city centre to slow strangulation. The differance? NCC is old Labour clinging outdated politics. No hope, no future -remember them at the next election.
Labour Welsh Govt consider buying Cardiff airport to prop up the welsh economy - invest to stimulate growth. Newport Labour Council charge to park in desolation and consign the city centre to slow strangulation. The differance? NCC is old Labour clinging outdated politics. No hope, no future -remember them at the next election. Woodgnome

10:44pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Woodgnome says...

Labour Welsh Govt consider buying Cardiff airport to prop up the welsh economy - invest to stimulate growth. Newport Labour Council charge to park in desolation and consign the city centre to slow strangulation. The differance? NCC is old Labour clinging outdated politics. No hope, no future -remember them at the next election.
Labour Welsh Govt consider buying Cardiff airport to prop up the welsh economy - invest to stimulate growth. Newport Labour Council charge to park in desolation and consign the city centre to slow strangulation. The differance? NCC is old Labour clinging outdated politics. No hope, no future -remember them at the next election. Woodgnome

11:35pm Tue 18 Dec 12

YazPad-But says...

4011 = pitiful. Less than 3% of the population of Newport bothered to sign. Why is this? Simple. The other 97% are shopping in Cwmbran or Spytty and didn't have time.....

Perhaps Newport Council should consider charging £5 per day which is refunded to you when you spend £5 or more in a charity shop. Any charity shop will do as they are the only people left trading in the 'city'. Hmmmm.
4011 = pitiful. Less than 3% of the population of Newport bothered to sign. Why is this? Simple. The other 97% are shopping in Cwmbran or Spytty and didn't have time..... Perhaps Newport Council should consider charging £5 per day which is refunded to you when you spend £5 or more in a charity shop. Any charity shop will do as they are the only people left trading in the 'city'. Hmmmm. YazPad-But

11:41pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Cazin says...

yazPad - i like it. Makes sense.
yazPad - i like it. Makes sense. Cazin

11:55pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Gooding says...

4011 is not pathetic, and I disagree. Cwmbran is vibrant. The reason is so simple. Free parking. Trouble is, they did it years ago. We had to wait for a change in office runty get our free parking. Unfortunately, years and years of a poor city council before them meant there were no shops left use!
4011 is not pathetic, and I disagree. Cwmbran is vibrant. The reason is so simple. Free parking. Trouble is, they did it years ago. We had to wait for a change in office runty get our free parking. Unfortunately, years and years of a poor city council before them meant there were no shops left use! Gooding

12:03am Wed 19 Dec 12

Strider says...

I wonder how much the Councils Office Party they held in Newport Market last Friday cost?

There's 2 hours free parking on Stow Hill by the Cathedral and 10p for 2 hours a little further down just after the old Queens School Car Park
I wonder how much the Councils Office Party they held in Newport Market last Friday cost? There's 2 hours free parking on Stow Hill by the Cathedral and 10p for 2 hours a little further down just after the old Queens School Car Park Strider

2:14am Wed 19 Dec 12

smokintheweed says...

Whether or not the parking is free is irrelevant to me. Having a reason to park in the city centre should be the issue.
Whether or not the parking is free is irrelevant to me. Having a reason to park in the city centre should be the issue. smokintheweed

2:41am Wed 19 Dec 12

gathin says...

Democracy in action yet again!
The probable reasons for so few ppl signing the petition is not lack of interest- it's knowing that the corporatisation of the UK is never going to stop so what's the point in struggling?
Back to my point of nuking town and turning it into a immigrant refugee camp/car park. At least the council could make money from ppl parking. This is the short-term solution I'm sure they're looking for as long-term is not in their vocab.
Democracy in action yet again! The probable reasons for so few ppl signing the petition is not lack of interest- it's knowing that the corporatisation of the UK is never going to stop so what's the point in struggling? Back to my point of nuking town and turning it into a immigrant refugee camp/car park. At least the council could make money from ppl parking. This is the short-term solution I'm sure they're looking for as long-term is not in their vocab. gathin

8:37am Wed 19 Dec 12

Bobevans says...

Someone has to pay for this parking. If the council pay for it they will have to cut services or staff to pay for it.

A sensible way forward is for the shops in the City Centre to come up with a scheme wherebye the Parking is Free fo say uptp 3 Hours if they spend £50 in the shops
Someone has to pay for this parking. If the council pay for it they will have to cut services or staff to pay for it. A sensible way forward is for the shops in the City Centre to come up with a scheme wherebye the Parking is Free fo say uptp 3 Hours if they spend £50 in the shops Bobevans

8:43am Wed 19 Dec 12

bobjones2011 says...

Interesting to see that Tom Bond is still a gutless snake, just as he was in UWN years ago. Thinks he will make a good politician but even the worst ones have a tiny bit of charisma Tom!
Interesting to see that Tom Bond is still a gutless snake, just as he was in UWN years ago. Thinks he will make a good politician but even the worst ones have a tiny bit of charisma Tom! bobjones2011

8:45am Wed 19 Dec 12

Cazin says...

bob jones - a lot more like him in thje Civic, Bob
bob jones - a lot more like him in thje Civic, Bob Cazin

11:57am Wed 19 Dec 12

portman says...

What Party?why wasn't i invited? i pay my community charge every month smack on time and no invite!! .As to free parking Allan Morris might not be getting is knickers in a twist but the Traders of Newport certainly will after this ill judged decision remember the date 18/12/2012 the day Newport city Center was put into Administration,by it's own custodian's Newport City Council !!
What Party?why wasn't i invited? i pay my community charge every month smack on time and no invite!! .As to free parking Allan Morris might not be getting is knickers in a twist but the Traders of Newport certainly will after this ill judged decision remember the date 18/12/2012 the day Newport city Center was put into Administration,by it's own custodian's Newport City Council !! portman

12:30pm Wed 19 Dec 12

plumbob says...

4011 out of 140000 signed. Of this 140000 the majority are children and don't drive.
As it was the Argus that ran this petition only a certain percentage of the population read the Argus, so not all people had a chance to sign.
Also many of the adult population don't drive so have no need for free parking.
4011 out of 140000 signed. Of this 140000 the majority are children and don't drive. As it was the Argus that ran this petition only a certain percentage of the population read the Argus, so not all people had a chance to sign. Also many of the adult population don't drive so have no need for free parking. plumbob

12:31pm Wed 19 Dec 12

JENKO1965 says...

no suprise there then greedy little **** it dont bother me i will go to cwmbran theyve got poundland and b+m bargian shops up there as well
no suprise there then greedy little **** it dont bother me i will go to cwmbran theyve got poundland and b+m bargian shops up there as well JENKO1965

1:55pm Wed 19 Dec 12

Dolieboy says...

If you keep the petition going until next Xmas, the numbers may top 4050
If you keep the petition going until next Xmas, the numbers may top 4050 Dolieboy

2:13pm Wed 19 Dec 12

DaifromBournemouth says...

I've lived in Bournemouth for the last 20 years or so and only come back to newport every now and then to see family, and have had to watch Newport slowly dismantle itself, there is nothing that makes me want to visit the City Centre, Councils should be thinking at least ten years ahead when it comes to regerating the City Centre and from what i see the Traders and people of Newport have been badly let down by successive Councils, as a result it looks like it's too late for Newport it's destined to remain a City of charity shops and take-aways. The City Council should have acted a long, lonmg tima ago and as a result they've missed the boat!!!
I've lived in Bournemouth for the last 20 years or so and only come back to newport every now and then to see family, and have had to watch Newport slowly dismantle itself, there is nothing that makes me want to visit the City Centre, Councils should be thinking at least ten years ahead when it comes to regerating the City Centre and from what i see the Traders and people of Newport have been badly let down by successive Councils, as a result it looks like it's too late for Newport it's destined to remain a City of charity shops and take-aways. The City Council should have acted a long, lonmg tima ago and as a result they've missed the boat!!! DaifromBournemouth

2:24pm Wed 19 Dec 12

mark the shark says...

never mind the parking they are closing some care homes for the older people hill view is one of them were are these people going to be moved to they will be treated like cattle private care homes are closing or give little or bad care in most of them n c c are a joke i hope some of them end up in these badly run homes they can then sit in a room all day and realise what they have done
never mind the parking they are closing some care homes for the older people hill view is one of them were are these people going to be moved to they will be treated like cattle private care homes are closing or give little or bad care in most of them n c c are a joke i hope some of them end up in these badly run homes they can then sit in a room all day and realise what they have done mark the shark

2:25pm Wed 19 Dec 12

gathin says...

They all make a nice little earner watching Npt crumble and die. They get guaranteed money every month from every household in the council catchment area. THEY DON'T CARE as long as you keep paying their wages!
They all make a nice little earner watching Npt crumble and die. They get guaranteed money every month from every household in the council catchment area. THEY DON'T CARE as long as you keep paying their wages! gathin

3:23pm Wed 19 Dec 12

paul m roberts says...

Still, at least we have plenty of 'Indian' takeaways, kebab shops and hand car washes, for lazy and unhealthy people. The R Gwent will stay in business then!
Still, at least we have plenty of 'Indian' takeaways, kebab shops and hand car washes, for lazy and unhealthy people. The R Gwent will stay in business then! paul m roberts

5:28pm Wed 19 Dec 12

Welshman76 says...

Newport will not be able to compete with Cardiff or Bristol for shopping. They need a new direction to entice people in. Not sure what would work but perhaps more local traders, leisure activities and decent eateries could work. A lot of thought and discussion is needed to create a city centre more appropriate for these times when Internet and out of town shopping are more popular. Lets hope the new developments get going soon and revitalise Newport.
Newport will not be able to compete with Cardiff or Bristol for shopping. They need a new direction to entice people in. Not sure what would work but perhaps more local traders, leisure activities and decent eateries could work. A lot of thought and discussion is needed to create a city centre more appropriate for these times when Internet and out of town shopping are more popular. Lets hope the new developments get going soon and revitalise Newport. Welshman76

7:21pm Wed 19 Dec 12

HeyJudeB4Beatles says...

OK the car parks cost money to run. So the council figure they will charge for people to park to pay for the running.

What my original point was that people won't pay. They'll go to Cwmbran or to Spytty or Maesglas. So they won't raise any more money and they will still be paying for the car park staff/running costs.

And, even more footfall will desert the already deserted city centre.

They are in a lose lose situation with lose being the operative word. If they maintained free parking the running costs would hopefully be the sprat to catch the mackerel
OK the car parks cost money to run. So the council figure they will charge for people to park to pay for the running. What my original point was that people won't pay. They'll go to Cwmbran or to Spytty or Maesglas. So they won't raise any more money and they will still be paying for the car park staff/running costs. And, even more footfall will desert the already deserted city centre. They are in a lose lose situation with lose being the operative word. If they maintained free parking the running costs would hopefully be the sprat to catch the mackerel HeyJudeB4Beatles

11:21pm Wed 19 Dec 12

Peeler61 says...

Heyjude is correct, poor shopping and pay for the privilege. Perfect storm...
Heyjude is correct, poor shopping and pay for the privilege. Perfect storm... Peeler61

10:12am Thu 20 Dec 12

Oriel Bufton says...

Why do the people of Newport keep voting these greedy, useless, arrogant self opinionated clots into power? Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely! You have the power too you know, show them who's really the boss, you'll have them grovelling at your feet, for another go at the trough, that is the taxpayer/ratepayer of Newport's unlimited supply of money. My advice? STOP voting for them, they'll soon see it your way! In this case, the devil you know is not better than the devil you don't know, give a different political party a chance to make a difference in what is left of poor old Newport.
Why do the people of Newport keep voting these greedy, useless, arrogant self opinionated clots into power? Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely! You have the power too you know, show them who's really the boss, you'll have them grovelling at your feet, for another go at the trough, that is the taxpayer/ratepayer of Newport's unlimited supply of money. My advice? STOP voting for them, they'll soon see it your way! In this case, the devil you know is not better than the devil you don't know, give a different political party a chance to make a difference in what is left of poor old Newport. Oriel Bufton

12:21pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Crazydad says...

If you don't like what's happening and don't feel you are being listened to then stop voting for the idiots..If you don't vote, don't complain.
If you don't like what's happening and don't feel you are being listened to then stop voting for the idiots..If you don't vote, don't complain. Crazydad

4:43pm Thu 20 Dec 12

portforever says...

who ever we vote for , does not seem to improve our fine city
who ever we vote for , does not seem to improve our fine city portforever

3:07pm Fri 21 Dec 12

JoeBloggs811 says...

no point keeping the car parks now that the library, museum and art galery all shutting in early 2013 - we were all told in a staff meeting last week.
no point keeping the car parks now that the library, museum and art galery all shutting in early 2013 - we were all told in a staff meeting last week. JoeBloggs811

4:13am Sat 22 Dec 12

Big Bus Driver says...

Maths explained: bus fare into centre 1.40 each way, cost of using car (including depreciation, insurance etc.) minimum 5.00. Use your car rather than the bus if you want but don't expect others to subsidise your parking. Perhaps those 4,000 people would like the council to give them free petrol as well, maybe pay their insurance? Get a grip.......if you want to park in the centre expect to pay for parking. Incidentally, I parked my car for a day in Copenhagen recently, that was forty eight pounds.
Maths explained: bus fare into centre 1.40 each way, cost of using car (including depreciation, insurance etc.) minimum 5.00. Use your car rather than the bus if you want but don't expect others to subsidise your parking. Perhaps those 4,000 people would like the council to give them free petrol as well, maybe pay their insurance? Get a grip.......if you want to park in the centre expect to pay for parking. Incidentally, I parked my car for a day in Copenhagen recently, that was forty eight pounds. Big Bus Driver

4:21am Sat 22 Dec 12

Big Bus Driver says...

Why not charge for car parking and make the buses free?
Why not charge for car parking and make the buses free? Big Bus Driver

3:00pm Mon 24 Dec 12

displayed says...

"Incidentally, I parked my car for a day in Copenhagen recently, that was forty eight pounds."

Its a bit expensive to go all the way there, to park your car!
"Incidentally, I parked my car for a day in Copenhagen recently, that was forty eight pounds." Its a bit expensive to go all the way there, to park your car! displayed

3:05pm Mon 24 Dec 12

displayed says...

Its all carefully planned and controlled!

The council and the councillors know exactly what there doing!

They see the complete picture and it ain't a pretty site!
Its all carefully planned and controlled! The council and the councillors know exactly what there doing! They see the complete picture and it ain't a pretty site! displayed
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