NEWPORT PARKING: No meeting to discuss free parking

South Wales Argus: NO MEETING SET: Alan Edwards, president of Newport Chamber of Trade NO MEETING SET: Alan Edwards, president of Newport Chamber of Trade

THE president of Newport Chamber of Trade has not had a meeting with a Newport City councillor since our “Keep City Parking Free” campaign began.

Alan Edwards, chamber president said the group was disappointed by the lack of consultation with the council.

He added: “The chamber was hoping we would have been called up to the civic centre and sat down round the table with councillors and had a proper discussion.

“We might not have changed anybody’s mind but it would have been nice to have the chance.

“No councillor has come to the chamber to talk to us.

“I haven’t had an official meeting with a councillor since November 7.”

Mr Edwards said that since being criticised by traders in the Argus for not consulting with them he has been to see them to hear their views and try to work with them.

He also accepts a number of the chamber committee think our campaign is “great” even if he himself is still sceptical.

But Mr Edwards, who was part of the chamber’s meeting last night which discussed the free parking issue, agrees with us that the council’s figures on how much the scheme will save are wrong.

He said: “It is not £1 million you are right, particularly when they are going to lose the Cambrian car park next year.

“We have not been happy with some of the emotional blackmail the council has used around this, saying it is the budget of Mount Pleasant school and things like that.”

Mr Edwards said the chamber will now press ahead with plans to try and garner support for a Business Improvement District (BID), similar to one set up in Swansea.

This would involve traders setting up a public limited company which would raise money through a business rate levy and receive funding from the Welsh Government.

It means the BID could go to the council and offer to help fund parking initiatives if it was set up.

However, such schemes require a huge amount of red tape to be cut before they can get off the ground – including the need for Welsh Government approval – all of which can be very time consuming.

The only response we have had from the council since we launched our campaign more than two weeks ago is a statement from cabinet member for infrastructure, Cllr Ken Critchley, describing the scheme as “unsustainable”.

He said: “Free parking costs the council almost £1 million a year which is no longer sustainable at a time when central budgets are facing significant cuts and we face a funding gap next year of £8 million.

“To continue to offer free parking would adversely impact on other services such as street cleaning, waste collection and road repairs.”

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:26pm Fri 14 Dec 12

Mr_T says...

Do you really think free parking is the answer that will encourage shoppers to come back to Newport to spend their money?? If you think this is the answer then you are quite delusional! There has to be a viable need or an enticement for people to want to go to the city centre in the first place and this is what learly needs to be addressed....The state of the city centre is one of depression and the shops that are there are not ones that are fitting of a city centre nor are the run down facilities on the whole! The broken promises of all the developments costing millions of pounds are what needs addressing not people harping on about free parking! Yes Cwmbran has it, but they have a shopping centre that is worth visiting! Change the broken record of free parking and address some real issues for a change!!
Do you really think free parking is the answer that will encourage shoppers to come back to Newport to spend their money?? If you think this is the answer then you are quite delusional! There has to be a viable need or an enticement for people to want to go to the city centre in the first place and this is what learly needs to be addressed....The state of the city centre is one of depression and the shops that are there are not ones that are fitting of a city centre nor are the run down facilities on the whole! The broken promises of all the developments costing millions of pounds are what needs addressing not people harping on about free parking! Yes Cwmbran has it, but they have a shopping centre that is worth visiting! Change the broken record of free parking and address some real issues for a change!! Mr_T

12:03am Sat 15 Dec 12

D Taylor says...

I agree with what you say. We are talking about one miserable quid for one to three hours parking. Surely we have not got to the stage where we can't afford that and will go to Cwmbran instead.
I agree with what you say. We are talking about one miserable quid for one to three hours parking. Surely we have not got to the stage where we can't afford that and will go to Cwmbran instead. D Taylor

9:08am Sat 15 Dec 12

pinpong says...

Miserable labour council and we are stuck with them for five years
Miserable labour council and we are stuck with them for five years pinpong

6:43pm Sun 16 Dec 12

areyour4real says...

It amazes me how some people want EVERYTHING for free but give nothing.

We all pay taxes but some people expect far far too much.

I know that seems like an extreme view to most people / scroungers.

You can't blame Labour either. The Cons and Libs would be doing the same right now if they had control and that is a FACT!
It amazes me how some people want EVERYTHING for free but give nothing. We all pay taxes but some people expect far far too much. I know that seems like an extreme view to most people / scroungers. You can't blame Labour either. The Cons and Libs would be doing the same right now if they had control and that is a FACT! areyour4real

10:30am Sun 23 Dec 12

Big Bus Driver says...

it surely costs more than a quid to drive to cwmbran?
it surely costs more than a quid to drive to cwmbran? Big Bus Driver

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree