New charges for disabled and Sunday parking

new parking charges Mitchell Road Car park

Disabled drivers and Sunday shoppers visiting Eastleigh will now have to pay to use the newly refurbished Mitchell Road multi storey car park.

The council have introduced a ‘a pay on foot system ‘ as part of a £1 million refit which means that blue badge holders will lose their concessions.

Last September local Lib Dems had attacked the County Council for introducing charges for disabled drivers in county car parks, describing the  ruling conservative councillors as ‘Cruel and heartless’  but since then they  themselves have commenced  charging disabled motorists,  first on the Swan centre roof top car park and now the Mitchell Road multi storey.

The council have defended the decision saying that pay on foot was a fairer system for the majority of users (who are able bodied) as they would only pay for the period they actually used and that pay & display car park s (which are further away) would still be free to blue badge holders.

In addition to taking advantage of the less able bodied, the council have also stealthily introduce parking charges in Mitchell road for Sunday’s and Bank Holidays – despite shopper’s footfall in town centre decreasing.

This will be of concerns to small traders in Eastleigh especially those who open on Sundays.

Winchester City Council Lib Dems recently introduced Sunday parking charges in Winchester in the teeth of opposition from local traders.

However Independents on the City Council joined forces with the Conservatives to overturn the decision.

The Major electrical retailer Curry’s recently shut its Eastleigh branch citing lack of trade and relocated staff to its Hedge end branch where parking is free.

  6 comments for “New charges for disabled and Sunday parking

    June 14, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    We used to call these stealth taxes when Blair was running the country. Remember “we have no plans to increase income tax?”!. Now we have the Lib Dems in Eastleigh crowing about keeping Council Tax down………well this is how they do it; increase the other charges.

  2. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    June 14, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    “The council have defended the decision saying that pay on foot was a fairer system for the majority of users (who are able bodied) as they would only pay for the period they actually used and that pay & display car park s (which are further away) would still be free to blue badge holders.”

    I can remember my former employer defending their disability discrimination by saying that as the majority of their 3,000 employees could manage eight flights of stairs to the top floor of the factory building they didn’t see any need to install a lift for the few that couldn’t – they could always go and work somewhere else.

  3. Andy Lombardi
    June 14, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    This announcement almost pre-empted by comments made by Maureen & myself on the ‘Best Buy’ news item yesterday.

    I paraphrase:-

    Maureen . . . . “another shop gone in Eastleigh. I remember when Eastleigh was a thriving market town with a variety of private shops. The chainstores that forced them out are all too quick to cut their losses and run when the going gets tough – no loyalty to the town. No shops at all soon, just so-called entertainment for youngsters.”

    Myself. . . “The knock on effect being less money for this greedy council on two fronts.

    Less extortionate parking fees to be collected (and less fines) coupled with a drop in retail rentals and local business taxes.

    EBC… did you envisage this, while avariciously rubbing your sweaty little palms together at the thought of all that filthy lucre coming in??

    And the jobless total will continue to rise as shops ‘deploy’ elsewhere.”

    Back on tack.

    I’d hazard a guess that the disabled will not be using that car park anyway due to it’s distance from the few remaining shops. If they have to pay they will choose to pay for proximity or, like many stores who have had enough of Eastleigh do, deploy to the Hedge End superstores and FREE parking. And while less people frequent the town then the market gets hit pro-rata. I walked through there last week and found myself commenting “It’s not worth coming up this end of town anymore”. And we walk in to town!

    I think that EBC forget that people who drive to do their shopping have a choice.

  4. June 15, 2011 at 10:41 am

    As a local business woman, I am appalled at this short sighted decision to impose charges on residents (who else would visit Eastleigh)wishing to support local enterprises. Having spoken to the Council, I realise that they have no desire to encourage successful business or operate economically themselves as they simply make their money in the form of taxes whether Council or car parking. In fact, money is wasted continuously by the lack of joined up thinking between County; Borough and Town councils as they do not communicate or care. Some economies in this direction might mean that local people could support local shops one day a week without being charged.

    Eastleigh is dying and needs support not lumbered with another reason for people to go the much more attractive and FREE Sunday car parks of Winchester.

  5. Brian Norgate
    June 15, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    As a Councillor i regularly kept an eye on the Lib dem stealth taxes imposed by the Council. it wasnt hard to see Keith Houses budget speech as an ego trip with other tax rises coming later in the year, denying Councillors the chance to debate them.

    This of course would show the real budget voted on by the Lib Councillors, whats wrong with declaring EBC budget in full and sticking
    to it for the finacial year.

    Cuts to services and projects are buried so its hard for the tax payers of Eastleigh to understand what the Lib dems are doing with our money. For example the Point which year on year is way over its orginal budget,

    Keith House in answering one of my questions said it was his preferred form of taxation – the user pays principle and supports the Libs policy of local taxation coming out of your wages.

    I proposed and seconded by Peter Luffman that the reduction to under 10% of parking spaces for people with disabilities was unfair and must be stopped.

    this was done with out consulation with disabled users or a disabled group to back up the decision voted for by the lib dem councillors in Easteligh.

    Due to delays mainly caused by HCC because the Torys dont like the Eastleigh Libs over the vue
    cinema it was reported to the finance sub committee that EBC lost £800k when the Swan centre roof car park was part closed.

    i attended the Town centre mamangement meetings and these increased parking charges were discussed, traders needed to know in advance so they could do their yearly budgets and complained the parking charges were not in the EBC budget in February but would rise some times twice in one year in budget alterations.

    The labour Party budget reversed all the reductions to loss of disabled parking bays and limited parking charges increases to once a year at budget time, which could be discussed
    and negotiated by the Councillors.

    but Keith House and the Lib Councillors bury increases throughout the year, following the timeline in the budget book it is suspicious that the increase in VAT the Libs promised they
    would not vote for has accrued a liabilty which
    appears to be equal to the increase in parking charges recently imposed on the town centre.

    with all these accrued liabilities and changes
    imagine how Keith Houses budget speech should really be written to fully inform the people of Eastleigh.

  6. Matthew Myatt
    June 15, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    I do not see what all the fuss is about. This is what Eastleigh people want. They voted for it in their hundreds in May.

    I can however make a suggestion that might help.

    As Mr Norgate points out, The POINTless is costing around £700,000.00 a year to keep open, yet it does not generate even 1/16th of that in income.

    So sell the POINTless as a going concern to the Arty Farty’s – Up their own arse people who sing its praise and redirect the money saved back into Eastleigh Town Centre.

    Thats over half a million pounds a year invested in regeneration of our town each and every year. WOW..!!

    But no, what do the Lib Dems do..!! Inject an additional £50,000.00 per year into the POINTless to run a summer music festival that makes a loss of £47,000.00 each year.

    Come on people of Eastleigh. WAKE THE F**K UP.!!

    Sell the Point or whats the bloody Point.!!

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