An invitation is being extended Angus-wide to businesses and the public to work with the council to develop options to pay for parking and make it as easy as possible for the public to pay to park.
Communities Convener, Cllr Mark Salmond is inviting Angus businesses and the public to engage with the council as they seek to develop additional payment choices.
Cllr Salmond said: “Once the Members Officers working group is up and running, I would like everybody across Angus to share their views with us. We have already listened when it comes to paying for parking. People will remember that we were looking at the introduction of payment charges for both on and off-street parking initially, but the message came through loud and clear from last year’s month-long consultation that on-street payments would be a step too far.
“We are still listening, as evidenced by our plans to establish the working group, which will be made up of three administration and three non-administration members.”
Proposals will be put before the Communities Committee on Tuesday (15 January) that will also seek approval for monthly and quarterly parking permits, in addition to the current half-yearly and annual subscriptions that have been in place since the launch of Pay to Park in November. Agreement will also be sought for the possible introduction of a direct debit payment scheme for parking permits.
Cllrs Salmond said: “In addition to the annual £260 permit and £130 half-yearly permit, it is now proposed to make monthly and quarterly permits available at a cost of £21.67 and £65 respectively. All these permit options present people with opportunities to make significant savings against a daily parking charge (Mon-Sat) of £4.
“If you choose to purchase a monthly permit for £21.67 for example, daily parking will cost you about 85 pence a day (for six days). I would argue that this great value for money and stands excellent comparison with most other local authorities in Scotland and, indeed, across the UK.
“What’s more our permits are transferable across every Angus Council off-street car park where Pay to Park applies and can be transferred between up to three vehicles.”
Unprecedented financial pressures remove any option to go back to a position where all parking in Angus was free. While other authorities charged for parking, we provided it free of charge for 22 years in Angus. We cannot afford to do that anymore.
Deputy Leader and Finance Convener, Cllr Angus Macmillan Douglas noted that: “The reason Angus Council had to introduce parking charges is the severe cuts in council funding introduced by the Scottish Government. We have been under-funded by some £40 million over three years, equal to the cost of all primary education in Angus.
“We are not alone – local authorities across Scotland, most of which charge for parking, are facing a similarly desperate situation.”
Communities vice-convener, Cllr Tommy Stewart said: “As a council, we have a responsibility to present a balanced budget while serving everyone in our community and protecting the vital services we provide through education, social care and on our roads and pavements. Asking residents and visitors to contribute a small charge to park in our off-street car parks and introducing more payment options driving and owning a car can help us to do that.
“An off-street parking charge of £1 per hour up to a maximum of £4 stands very favourable comparison against charges levied by other councils in Scotland – on and off street.”
Subject to agreement, the Member Officer working group will be established following the Communities Committee meeting and will report back with recommendations to the following committee on 26 February.