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Sunday, 4 August 2013

Are Cheshire East flouting law with £10.5m profit on parking charges?

 

Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor Brian Silvester is asking the question if Cheshire East is flouting the law with their £10.5m profit on parking charges.

He said,"Cheshire East Council has made a profit of £10.5m from car parking charges since it was formed in 2009. I have been informed that the surplus goes to the General Fund and is not ring fenced. (See below and link) The 1984 Road Traffic Regulation Act – “does not authorise the authority to use its powers to charge residents for parking in order to raise surplus revenue for other than transport purposes”.If all the profit goes to the General Fund there is no way of knowing whether it is being used illegally to pay for other services. Many motorists will think they are being ripped off to pay for  none transport services which is not legal.I have written to the Cabinet Member for Finance, Cllr Raynes, asking him to provide evidence that all the £10.5 milllion surplus has been spent on transport purposes."

Cllr Brian Silvester

Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor

Tel 01270 567757

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2382178/500m-tax-drivers-greedy-town-halls-Parking-charges-soar-councils-flout-law.html

Councils forced to stop cashing in on parking

All councils will be forced to stop using parking charges as a means of raising revenue, after a high court victory by Barnet CPZ Action Group campaigning against a huge increase in the cost of their parking permits. Residents in the borough began legal action against the council in 2011 after it hiked the cost of permits from £40 to £100, and vouchers for visitors from £1 to £4. At the high court Mrs Justice Lang declared that the legislation under which Barnet had increased the charges - the 1984 Road Traffic Regulation Act – “does not authorise the authority to use its powers to charge residents for parking in order to raise surplus revenue for other transport purposes”.

Urgent action to replace  bollard.

I reported the need for urgent action be taken to replace a bollard in Gresty Lane ,Rope. Because there is a problem with speeding vehicles in Gresty Lane chicanes were placed at either end of the residential part of the lane to slow the traffic down. Some irresponsible people use the road as a speedy rat run and the Police are  investigating the complaints of speeding vehicles.

The bollard on one of the chicanes had been missing for months and there was a danger that a vehicle would hit the chicane, not realising it was there. I am pleased that the Highways Department have now replaced the bollard.

Staffing Shortage Leads to Customers  'trapped in a Kafkaesque loop'

  I have called on the Cheshire East Council (CE) to take urgent action to improve customer service. I  received a complaint about  the service residents receive when they ring the Council. The resident told me, ' I have tried on numerous occasions in the last week to pay my additional fee for refuse collection only to become trapped in a Kafkaesque loop. I have waited for anything up to 20 minutes three or four times while being repeatedly told I am the next call to be dealt with. I even had the same message when trying to telephone another department to complain about the telephone system.'

The response to me from the Council was that they had had staff leave and it was taking time to replace them. I am calling for urgent action to be taken because the current level of customer service is not acceptable. I am concerned because this is a front line service and when it is not working efficiently this reflects badly on the Council's reputation for customer care. Perhaps the standing message could be re-recorded in times of extreme difficulty. The public would surely prefer this to hanging on indefinitely.

Elections

On the 1st August there were by-elections for the Crewe West Ward of the Crewe Town Council. They were caused  by the resignations of two Labour Councillors, just 3 weeks after they had been elected in April. The cost to the Crewe Council taxpayers of the by-elections  was £12,000. The by-elections were won by Labour and I congratulate the Councillors elected and wish them well in their new role.

There was a good swing to UKIP at the election, there was an increase in  the UKIP share of the vote and the UKIP Candidates came in a strong second. The Conservative and LibDem Candidates  came third and  fourth and saw their vote collapse disastrously. In the Crewe Town Council elections in April, UKIP were second in every seat and they have improved on that  performance in the by-elections. It is now absolutely clear that UKIP are the main opposition to Labour in Crewe. Only UKIP can beat Labour in Crewe. For those who want to defeat Labour  a vote for the  Conservatives or the LibDems is just a wasted vote.

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