Plan to axe car park fees in Buckley looking doomed to fail

Reporter:

Rory Sheehan

HOPES of scrapping parking charges for a Flintshire town look doomed to failure.

In November last year, Buckley Town Council voted to make parking free in the town centre, by absorbing the cost of charges into their 2018-19 budget when that is voted on by members.

But with Flintshire Council looking to hike up the charges this year to generate more income, those plans may well fall through.

Cllr Carolyn Thomas, Flintshire Council’s cabinet member for Streetscene and transportation, will present a report on the parking charge increase proposal to the authority’s environment overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday.

In a bid to try and attract more business and visitors to the town, Buckley Bistre East Cllr Richard Jones had worked with Flintshire Council to come up with a figure the town council could pay that would enable them to scrap parking charges for at least a year, from this April.

Paid parking had been introduced in 2015 to help the county council plug a budget hole and saw the Buckley car parks at Precinct Way, Argoed Road and Bistre Avenue cost 20p for up to two hours, 50p for up to four hours and £1 all day from Monday to Saturday.

The Black Horse car park costs 20p for up to two hours, as does the one at Brunswick Road.

Last year Cllr Jones and the council arrived at a figure of £41,000, reduced to £36,000 once the £5,600 the town council pays for free parking December was taken into account.

The free parking would effectively cost Buckley residents £4.90 a year, or 9p per week, for each household.

If the charges are increased, Cllr Jones says the move is very unlikely to go ahead.

He said: “I’m disappointed to be honest as I spoke to Carolyn, and the senior officer about the provision of free parking.

“It took me from June to October and several meetings with them to come up with a way of assisting the town and assisting businesses.

“There is no way we could cover that extra amount now.

“We would have to include it in the precept so it would be a tax on Buckley residents.”

He added: “This move might fill a gap in the budget but it affects people’s lives, not just those who live in Buckley, but those who are employed there too and have to pay to park all day.”

Email:

rory.sheehan@nwn.co.uk

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