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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting:  15th October, 2012

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sport Development

 

Coastal Car Park Charging Arrangements - Llantwit Major, Knap Terrace, Barry, Cliff Top, Penarth and Penarth Marina

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To seek the agreement of Cabinet not to progress the introduction of car park charging at a number of coastal car park locations throughout the Vale.

Recommendations

1.         That car park charging is not introduced at Llantwit Major Beach, Penarth Cliff Top, Knap Terrace, Barry and Penarth Marina.

2.         That a further report be provided to Cabinet detailing the necessary income generation and cost saving measures required in Visible Services to enable a balanced budget for the 2013 / 2014 period.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To formally confirm that there are no plans to charge for car parking at these locations.

2.         To consider a new range of options aimed at meeting the financial demands on the service during 2013 / 2014.

Background

2.         At its meeting of 2nd February 2011 Cabinet agreed a range of savings and income generation measures aimed at balancing the Council's budget over the period from 2011 to 2014.  (Min. No. C1202 refers).  These were later also reported at its meeting of 21st February 2011 within the report entitled 'Final Proposals for Revenue Budget'.  (Min. No. C1221 refers).

3.         These reports featured a significant range of savings and income generation arrangements phased over three years.  The requirement to introduce car park charging at a number of new coastal locations was scheduled for 2012 / 2013 and this is detailed as reference 'E16' on the attached schedule (extract) attached at Appendix A.

4.         In preparation for this particular income generation arrangement, officers commenced installation of the plinths necessary to securely house the car park pay and display machines required at the various locations.  This work was completed at Llantwit Major and the Knap Terrace, Barry but not progressed at the other two locations indentified.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         Clearly, during these difficult financial times the Council has to consider all its options in order to continue to provide the services required by our citizens, whilst also remaining within the respective budget constraints.

6.         The Council already charges for car parking at a range of its coastal sites:

Harbour Road Car Park, Barry Island

Rivermouth Car Park, Ogmore-by-Sea

Brig-y-Don Car Park, Ogmore-by-Sea

Cymlau, Southerdown

7.         The proposal represented an extension of arrangements already in place.  However, the new sites specified are somewhat different in their nature, as most of them have a high level of use by local people.

8.         Concerns that these charges would mostly affect our local residents was one of the issues raised in a petition that was submitted earlier this year against the proposal to charge at Llantwit Major Beach.  Similar concerns were also raised in respect to possible charging at the Knap Terrace, Barry.

9.         Whilst the income that could be realised by this charging will still be required it is considered that the difficulties this charging could pose, in particular to the regular local users of these areas, outweighs the value of the income estimate of £60k for the full year.

10.      It is therefore proposed that plans to charge at these sites are discontinued and that officers be requested to establish a range of more locally palatable options for the 2013 / 2014 period and beyond.  These would be considered as part of the budget review process.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

11.      The Highways and Engineering budget within Visible Services has already been reduced by £60k in lieu of this change to car park charging arrangements during 2012 / 2013.  This budget reduction will be met by the use of Visible Services reserves for the 2012 / 2013 period, if the department are ultimately unable to balance their budget due to this reduction over the financial year.

12.      Measures will have to be introduced during 2013 / 2014 in order for the Visible Services budget to balance and it will be extremely difficult to retain all services at current levels if additional cost savings or income generation measures are not introduced during this period.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

13.      The decision not to charge at these locations should assist in retaining the current levels of visits to these sites by car.  Also, there are retail outlets at a number of the sites and these could have been detrimentally affected by any charging regimes, particularly at 'off peak' times.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

14.      None

Crime and Disorder Implications

15.      None

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

16.      None

Corporate/Service Objectives

17.      This report is relevant to the 'Regeneration' Corporate Priority - 'To work with partners to develop a sustainable community which maximises opportunities for economic growth, social improvement and environmental regeneration and protection'.

Policy Framework and Budget

18.      This is a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19.      None as the report covers a range of areas.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.      Economy and Environment

Background Papers

None

 

Contact Officer

Miles Punter - Director of Visible Services and Housing

Tel: 02920 673 101

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager - Legal Services

Accountant - Visible Services and Housing

 

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Visible Services and Housing

 

 

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