The only news website
dedicated to Lichfield & Burntwood

Possible changes to evening and weekend car parking charges in Lichfield to be discussed behind closed doors

The cost of parking in Lichfield on evenings and weekends will be debated by councillors tonight – but the public will not be able to attend.

Lichfield District Council House

Lichfield District Council House

A meeting of Lichfield District Council’s overview and scrutiny committee will discuss possible changes to the tariff tonight (June 20).

But the related agenda item has been classified as private, meaning members of the public and the media will be excluded at that stage and will therefore be unable to hear the discussions or any possible changes.

The agenda states that to allow non-councillors would be “prejudicial to the public interest”.

Councillors have previously debated – in public – proposals for changes to car parking charges, with plans for blue badge holders to pay ditched last year.

In January 2016, Lichfield District Council unveiled plans, which were later dropped, to increase the charging hours to 8pm, while just a few months later it was revealed that rises to parking tariffs could see the local authority rake in an additional £200,000 a year.

However, tonight’s discussion over evening and weekend car parking charges will be behind closed doors.

After LichfieldLive questioned the decision not to make the issue public, Craig Jordan, head of economic growth at Lichfield District Council, said: “This evening councillors will consider issues concerning our car parking charging regime as it applies to Lichfield City.

“As there are issues which are also relevant to on-going discussions about the Friarsgate scheme, which are commercially sensitive, the debate will not be open to the public or press.”

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

Advertisements
Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

15 Comments

  1. Steve

    20th June, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Did I miss us becoming twinned with North Korea?

  2. wilf

    20th June, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Council has a duty to us residents first, commercial partners second. I don’t understand why there could be any need for secret meetings apart from trying to hide the fact they’re putting charges up for something else. First the bins, now your parking. Welcome to the future of Britain where politicians hide behind closed doors to make decisions. The council operates parking services and makes the money from them. Therefore we should be allowed to hear how much they want to fleece us of in future.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Lichfield District Council just tried being open about things? If they stopped lying to us all we might believe them and be a bit more sympathetic about things when charges do have to go up. Notice the council couldn’t even put up one of their elected members [members in every sense of the word] to explain why; instead leaving it to an officer to waffle on about commercial ity. Does that mean Friarsgate developers get a say on how much we pay for parking? Does this mean we are getting another service farmed off to the private sector via the backdoor? Or are we seeing another big bucks private corp with too much influence? All questions Lichfield District Council might answer…if they let anyone ask!!!!!!

    Last time I checked, elected councillors couldn’t plead the fifth????

  3. Darryl

    20th June, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    “The agenda states that to allow non-councillors would be “prejudicial to the public interest”.”

    Gadnammit – and I’d just repaired my irony klaxon!

    “As there are issues which are also relevant to on-going discussions about the Friarsgate scheme, which are commercially sensitive, the debate will not be open to the public or press.”

    Seriously, all of you resign immediately.

  4. Darryl

    20th June, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    I think Wilf has hit the nail on the head, commercial discussions in how much the developer can expect to cream off the top on parking charges and the councils’ cut.

    There is simply no good reason for any council meeting to be held behind closed doors.

    Absolutely disgraceful.

  5. John Griffin

    20th June, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Well put Wilf. This council too busy sucking up to business, some of it no doubt connected to them. The ‘commercially sensitive’ is not only a get-out but also a way to penalise whistleblowers and gag enquiries.

  6. wilf

    20th June, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    After looking at the agenda on Lichfield Live twitter it’s noticeable that the tourist information centre relocation is also being gagged. Who is the commercial partner not wanting anyone to hear about that? Or are the council again looking to sweep some news that electors might not like under the carpet????? Oh, that’s right; us taxpayers who pay for their jollies aren’t allowed to know what they’re up to. Something smells decidedly fishy

  7. Andy S

    20th June, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Seems to me the council is trying to raise revenue without any benefits to Lichfield residents. ‘When’ charges are raised/introduced, will it discourage traffic in the City? No. Will facilities be improved? Probably not.
    The only reason to have a meeting behind closed doors is to rubber stamp a decision already made. Democracy in action!!!

  8. wilf

    20th June, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    @andy s – democracy died in Lichfield many moons ago. Charges for bins and household recycling centres, services being cut and council staff losing jobs, all while the chairman keeps a shiny chauffeur driven car and councillor allowances climb year after year. Remember, this is the same shower of greedy councillors who went against an independent remuneration panel by putting their allowances up. The panel spoke out and were duly dismissed. Doubles all round!!!!!

  9. wilf

    20th June, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    We might be stuck with this useless lot for now but people of Lichfield and Burntwood should start planning ahead and get local residents with local connections standing against the usual parties with their self-interest and national agenda. Local candidates to tackle local interests is the only way forward. That’s how you fight issues such as green belt development on your doorstep and rises in tcharges for things that really matter to local people. Perhaps Lichfield Live should start a campaign to get people fundraising for a campaign next time the local elections take place????

  10. Five Spires Live

    20th June, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    If you want footfall, especially for the commercially sensitive Friarsgate, then parking for the first two hours should be free. Tamworth has a far superior retail offer,than even if Friarsgate ever materialises and it’s free and not time limited in the retail parks. Worth the 15min drive if we’re not careful.

  11. The Scribbler

    20th June, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    There are major decisions being taken about Lichfield with little meaningful public consultation. Lichfield has the potential to be a very successful city, but the council seems more intent on pandering to the grey pound and a very small number of commercial partners at the expense of the wider population and local businesses.

    Perhaps this is an issue to take up with our local MP…anyone seen him lately?

  12. Steve

    20th June, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    The council have very little power in relation to Friarsgate. The developer has all of the power. I feel the council are starting to realise this.

    They wont want their highly priced parking to be undercut by free council parking. So, the costs will rise, as will the hours charged.

    The council have given the developer all the power. I am sure if the end, there will be a few less shops, lots more homes and a massive council funding option required to keep the stores open.

    Every little change, the council will be told “It’s a bad time for retail right now. If we don’t make this change now. The project will no longer be viable”.

    How will the electorate punish the council? With a massive majority, the way they have punished them, after every crazy decision.

  13. Toast

    21st June, 2017 at 8:50 am

    The annoying fact is LDC will put parking charges up, and thus more people will ditch Lichfield as a regular shopping destination in favour of Tamworth’s retail parks. Free parking, lots of shops within walking distance; perfect.

    Lichfield’s independent shops will be the biggest hit by any parking changes; something the Lichfield BID need to concentrate on heavily unless they want to be promoting just the supermarkets and chain stores when they’re all that’s left in 5 year’s time.

    The grey vote doesn’t care about frivolous issues like parking, most of them have blue badges so they can park wherever, whenever, completely free of charge for 3 hours. They’re alright Jack.

  14. Adam Elsdon

    21st June, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Inflation is on the up with a forecast pay squeeze, and public sector pay is going nowhere, Lichfield property prices are artificially high thanks to the HS2 project paying out unblighted value market rates plus a ‘home loss’ payment equal to 10% to those homes affected with the knock on Estate Agent fever factor (Win win Mr Fabricant?)
    We are presently in a bubble, but the council does not see it, small businesses are finding it hard going and now they want to “hard milk” City visitors, because that closed door meeting certainly wont be about dropping parking charges.
    It’s a race to the bottom and our closed book council will keep us in the dark until we crash.

  15. Rob B

    21st June, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    At the last LDC Cabinet meeting it was clear that they had already raised more than they anticipated in car parking charges and had a surplus of cash but none of them seemed to know if that meant they had charged too much or if they had spent too little. The extra money in the kitty from parking and other sources would, on the face of it, pay for the brown bins to be emptied amongst other things.
    I’d advise any interested public to pop along to the Council and Cabinet meetings they are a quite an eye opener, at least the bits they will let you witness are.