Council Reject Proposals For Key Worker Parking Permits

Residents face increase of up to 500% for visiting carers and medical staff

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Huge Increase in Price of Ealing Parking Permits

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Ealing Council have rejected proposals for special parking permits for carers and medical staff in the borough.

The proposal, made by Lib Dem Councillor Gary Malcolm, asked the Council to reject 'the proposed massive increase in parking voucher charges, because of the way it impacts upon residents and their visitors where CPZs operate all day.'

The motion also asked the Council to note that visitor permits are very important to groups like carers and requested that they consider introducing a similar scheme for carers and medical staff as currently operates in the London Borough of Hounslow.

"Basically the visitors' vouchers issue is crucial to those who need looking after by friends, relatives or other carers / medical people," said Cllr Malcolm.

Labour members voted against the motion however, Cllr Malcolm was informed that the issue will be put to the Council's Scrutiny Panel.

He added: "It is sad that Ealing Council are trying to hike up the prices of the visitors permits when many are used by carers looking after friends and relatives. They do not get paid for caring and so should not suffer a huge rise like this. The Liberal Democrats put forward proposals to introduce a carers permit like in Hounslow. If it works in Hounslow let's have our own scheme so that carers are not forced to reduce or give up caring for relatives, because of high parking fees."

Changes to the way CPZ visitor vouchers are paid for have been branded 'nothing short of scandalous' by residents who are faced with up to a 500% increase in costs.

Currently there are several different vouchers in operation - some are all day and others are for three hours. The council is intending to move to a 50p hourly rate which they say will help those who are only parking for a short time.

The current all day visitor's voucher cost residents £1. From 1st January 2011 the same voucher will cost up to £5.00 if the visitor uses it all day ie. 9.5 hours.

"That's £100 a month if you have a relative to stay for a few weeks, or some building work etc. If you have a relative visiting one day a week, that's £234 a year for their parking," said a concerned local resident.

He continued, "Using Ealing's own figures the result is that the council will now make a huge profit. If half of the visitors' vouchers are used for all day visits and the rest up to an average of just two hours, their income from visitors' permits will rise from £343,000 to nearly £1 million, more than enough to go from "subsidy" to healthy profit without any increase in residents' own vouchers which of course are in fact increasing by 66%."

Another resident said that she was 'seriously concerned' about the visitor vouchers. "People have no idea what they may be in for. People in living in zones like those around Thames Valley University which operates from 10.00am until 7.30 pm will have to pay £5 if a relative, friend or tradesman stays all day."

"This is nothing short of scandalous!" she added.

The Central Ealing Zone operates from 8.30am to 7.30pm Monday to Thursday, from 8.30am to 11.00pm Friday and Saturday and from 10.00am to 4.00pm on Sundays.

Some CPZs operate from 9.00am until 6.00pm Monday to Friday whilst others are an hour in the morning and another in the afternoon.

September 15, 2010