Agenda item

Parking Task & Finish Group

To consider the report and recommendations of the Task & Finish Group.

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced this item saying that it was an excellent piece of work and showed what good scrutiny could produce.  He thought it should be used as an exemplar of how a Task and Finish Group could deliver a piece of work and he thanked those involved in its production.

 

The Scrutiny Officer detailed the main points, explaining that the Group had been set up in July 2009, originally to investigate on and off-street parking in the five market towns.  However, at the request of the Town Council work had been done on Attleborough first.  The Group would be considering Watton next.

 

Eight meetings had been held and the Group had spoken with stakeholders and residents.  Research had also been commissioned from the University of East Anglia’s Norwich School of Business.

 

The conclusions and recommendations were listed in the report.  There had been a minor change to recommendation No 4, extending the proposed time limit to three hours (from two).  It had also been agreed to recommend the proposal at 5b and not 5a.

 

Seven appendices were attached to the report which summarised the main elements and findings of the Group.  The recommendations had not been costed and it would be up to Cabinet to commission that work.

 

The Executive Member, Economic and Commercial, explained that Asset Management was responsible for car parks and with the recent de-criminalisation of on-street parking, they were looking to form partnerships. 

 

With reference to enforcement, he advised that the fines did not pay for the service; parking charges would be needed to cover that cost.  He suggested that short term free parking, with charges for longer stays, could be enforced using CCTV which could be used to note times and car registration numbers as they entered and exited car parks.

 

A Member asked if each car park would be assessed individually.  The Scrutiny Officer confirmed this and said that the Group had concluded that charges could not be determined on a ‘one size fits all’ basis.

 

RECOMMEND TO CABINET that:

 

(1)               the Council retains its policy of providing free parking in all three Breckland-owned car parks in Attleborough;

 

(2)               the Council adopts parking orders to cover all three Breckland-owned car parks in Attleborough stipulating uses and prohibitions based on the parking orders made in 1995 in order to regulate car park use, facilitate enforcement and thus turnover of spaces;

 

(3)               the Council undertakes in the first instance to seek an agency agreement with Attleborough Town Council to provide enforcement in Attleborough on a similar basis to the existing agreement operating in Swaffham. In the event that a partnership with Attleborough Town Council is not forthcoming, to then explore other agencies or options for enforcement accordingly;

 

(4)               the Council adopts a three hour limit in short term parking orders applicable in Attleborough with a basic default fine levied of at least £30 (given that the equivalent fines at J Sainsbury is £50 and £70 at Lidl);

 

(5)               the Council create short and long term parking areas within all three Attleborough car parks on the basis of 50:50 at Edenside with 100% short stay in Horse Pit and two thirds short stay, one third long stay in Queens Square. This recommendation would result in 123 short-stay spaces and 64 long-stay spaces in Breckland’s car parks;

 

(6)               *J Sainsbury Ltd take appropriate action to effectively manage staff parking at their store, while acknowledging that imposition of enforceable short term parking orders should largely resolve this issue from the Council’s point of view, and encourage staff to park at Connaught Hall, further to the local agreement which is in place;

 

(7)               *Norfolk Constabulary resumes operational random on-street enforcement in the centre of Attleborough at an early opportunity in order to increase turnover of parking spaces;

 

(8)               Breckland Council, Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Constabulary liaise over de-criminalisation of on-street parking in Attleborough in a multi-agency approach, seeking a transfer of responsibility and action enabled through joined-up thinking and use of resources;

 

(9)               the Council instructs Breckland officers to explore possible re-design of the Queens Square car park to generate additional parking spaces, whilst cognisant of costs and planning considerations;

 

(10)          the Council instructs Breckland senior officers to liaise directly with officials of National Express East Anglia, Norfolk County Council and Network Rail to be apprised of the expected expansion of the rail station car park. The rail operator is also requested to give immediate attention to the condition of its buildings in the vicinity of the rail station given the potential health and safety issue;

 

(11)          the Council instructs senior officers to liaise with Norfolk County Council to ascertain whether there is a possibility of utilising the land behind the adult training centre in Station Road as a car park, on either an interim or permanent basis, thus adding local parking capacity;

 

(12)          the Council allocates sufficient funding and authorises remedial works at Horse Pit and Edenside to bring these car parks up to a reasonable standard;

 

(13)          the Council keeps the issue of interactive sign provision under review, in tandem with the expansion of Attleborough over the next 16 years and tied in to the planning process.;

 

(14)          *Norfolk County Council undertake further local promotion and advertising of both the Harling and Wayland flexibus services in order to try to increase patronage and in doing so ease local parking problems;

 

(15)          should there be scope to do so, the Council should look to address provision of adequate parking for future developments in town centres (particularly in relation to flats) by amending its planning policies accordingly;

 

(16)          permit parking schemes should not be sought at present in Attleborough but that the issue remain under review, in conjunction with the future ongoing development of the town; and

 

(17)          an action plan be devised in order to track implementation of the recommendations and report progress into the Overview and Scrutiny Commission in December 2010.

 

* Recommendation (6) is directed at J Sainsbury Ltd, Recommendation 7 is directed at Norfolk Constabulary and Recommendation 14 is directed at Norfolk County Council.

Supporting documents: