Campaign group protests against 'rip-off' parking permit price hikes - The Rugby Observer

Campaign group protests against 'rip-off' parking permit price hikes

Andy Morris 27th Sep, 2019   0

A PROTEST against proposed ‘rip-off’ parking permit price hikes took place at Rugby Town Hall yesterday (Thursday September 26).

Campaign group Concerned Rugbeians Against Parking Proposals (CRAPP) staged the peaceful protest ahead of a Rugby Borough Council (RBC) council meeting, to urge borough councillors to take their concerns to Warwickshire County Council (WCC).

And the council responded by passing a motion, proposed by Labour Group leader Coun Maggie O’Rourke, to ask WCC to reconsider the changes due to a “detrimental impact on local people’s lives”.

Around 50 protesters gathered outside the Town Hall, chanting: “Say no to Warwickshire parking permit rip-off.”

CRAPP spokeswoman Ellen Boylin said they were pleased the motion was passed.

She said: “Coun O’Rourke has been behind us from day one.

“Leader Coun Seb Lowe was the first person to second the motion, so that gave us a lot of hope.

“It was good to see the other parties get behind her motion. And they all said the same thing – that this proposal is ludicrous.”

Coun O’Rourke said: “I’m so pleased that we’ve got such great support tonight.

“The people have come together and they’re united in their resolve to fight against these stupid increases to parking permits.

“I’m with them 100 per cent, and so are all the Labour councillors.”

Coun O’Rourke’s motion stated: “We call upon Rugby Borough Council to make formal written representation to Warwickshire County Council, asking them to reconsider their proposals to increase charges to residents’ parking permit schemes.

“The written representation would include evidences from ward Councillors and the local community about the detrimental impact these changes would have on local

people lives.”

WCC has proposed two options to raise annual permit charges from the current £25 a year fee – charging £80 for all permits, or alternatively charging households £35 for a first permit, £55 for a second and £80 for a third.

The council says permit prices must go up because the cost of running the permit scheme is not being met by current charges. But a spokesperson told The Observer its overall Civil Parking Enforcement scheme – of which residents’ permits were a part – did not operate at a loss.

The council declined however to reveal the size of the deficit generated by the permit scheme, or how much was raised through parking fines.

Four weeks ago, The Observer put in a Freedom of Information request for a breakdown of WCC’s costs and income relating to its CPE scheme.

But on Wednesday (September 25) – the day the council’s response was due – a WCC spokesperson said they needed more time to process it “because there is a lot of information that needs to be sourced and collated”. They added they would “try to respond by October 2.”

Following a public consultation on the changes which ended on Sunday (September 22), a report is due to go before WCC’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee in November, and then to the council’s Cabinet early next year. The council aims to implement changes next April.

CRAPP’s next campaign meeting takes place at the West Indian Club, Railway Terrace, on Friday October 4. Visit for more information.


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