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What Parking Charges?

Wednesday 20 April 2011, 10:22
By Jane Lock

Jane Lock, Lib-Dem candidate for District CouncilJANE LOCK - PUTTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT IN WINCANTON

In another bout of lack of imagination the dynamic duo of Tory candidates are repeating their mantra of the last District Council elections - namely that the Lib Dem led South Somerset District Council is "possibly" going to introduce parking charges in Wincanton.

It wasn't true in 2007 and it isn't true in 2011, but for me the really sad thing is they know it isn't. Why is it that if they care, as they say they do, about Wincanton and its future are they insisting on circulating damaging false rumours?

I can give you my word that parking charges will not be forced on Wincanton if I am elected to South Somerset District Council. This is a very easy commitment for me simply because there never has been any plan to do so.

Wincanton let down by the Tories

In spite of there being a desperate need to replace Wincanton Primary School, Tory controlled Somerset County Council has refused to progress the scheme. A site already exists but the children in the town must remain in outdated buildings until someone sees sense.

The household waste recycling centre scheduled to be built at the Sports Ground also was cancelled at the 11th hour by the Tories as was the cycle way between Moor Lane and The Pavilion to give everyone particularly children a safe route to the sports ground, which also had funding withdrawn in spite of its value to the town and improved road safety.

The latest untruth on the doorstep is that the Lib Dems are planning to develop the Carrington Way car park. This land is actually owned by Tory controlled Somerset County Council so couldn't possibly be developed by South Somerset; maybe they know something the rest of us don't?

The Audit Commission rate Liberal Democrat run South Somerset as the top rated District Council in the South West. An award winning local authority working hard for you.


Andrew Barrand
Posts: 1
District Wide Parking Strategy
Reply #1 on : Thu April 21, 2011, 14:30:39
I would like to ask Mrs Lock to refer to the following minutes:

Minutes of a meeting of the District Executive held on Thursday, 11th January 2007

In light of what is recorded in those minutes would she care to reconsider her comments

Andrew B
Nick Colbert
Posts: 5
The truth
Reply #2 on : Thu April 21, 2011, 21:23:54
The extracts from the Lib/dem leader of SSDC, Mr T Carroll's, email below shows the position of car parking charges in Wincanton quite clearly.

It also speaks of decking Carrington Way but Mrs Lock says "The latest untruth on the doorstep is that the Lib Dems are planning to develop the Carrington Way car park. This land is actually owned by Tory controlled Somerset County Council so couldn't possibly be developed by South Somerset" I am sure Mrs Lock is hearing about this on the doorstep because SSDC commissioned the £17,000 GVA Grimley report which highlighted the Carrington Way car park and Northern end of the Memorial Hall car park for retail development opportunities. Her council did not inform any of our town councillors, our District councillor Colin Winder or our County Councillor Anna Groskop about this report or let them shape the conclusions.

Please read below.

From: Tim Carroll [mailto:Tim.Carroll@SouthSomerset.Gov.Uk]
Sent: 20 January 2011 16:55
Subject: Car Parking in Wincanton and surrounding towns/villages
Importance: High

"Under section 3

3. Castle Cary and Wincanton
i. Introduce charges of 40p for 2 hours and £1.10 all day concurrently with DPE. The first hour in designated short stay being free with no return permitted within 3 hours. The designated short stay being the lower level of Carrington Way Wincanton (53 spaces) and a section(48 spaces) of Millbrook Gardens in Castle Cary.

ii Include as part of phase 2 DPE implementation

iii. Consider decking proposals for Carrington Way as demand pressures require

To be enacted that proposal has to have
A) the agreement of all the Somerset Districts
B) they then have to submit their proposal to Central Government
C) they have to get approval from the Secretary of State for Transport
D) once they have that approval, they will then have to let the contract through a competitive tendering process
E) award the contract and implement

If you read through the rest of the costs and charges, I think you might also agree that someone from Yeovil would point out that the car parking income from Yeovil is actually subsidising the costs in Wincanton and other non-chargeable carparks."

There you have it, the car parking charges proposals and plans to deck Carrington Way car park as pressure requires.

Finally I would point out to Mrs Lock that decking the Carrington Way car park would mean developing it so her version of events clearly contradicts those of Mr Carroll, the council leader as stated clearly in his email as above.

Lets try and keep it truthful and clean shall we Mrs Lock
Last Edit: April 21, 2011, 21:42:11 by Nick Colbert  
Nick Colbert
Posts: 5
Our recycling centre
Reply #3 on : Fri April 22, 2011, 09:56:56
Mrs Lock's accusations contain not 1 fact that has be substantiated. Andrew Barrand has provided a link to the report on car park charging so the public can see the facts for themselves.

Another unsubstantiated claim regards the recycling centre. The Lib/dems were in control of both the District and County councils until last year. The negotiations to purchase the ground began approximately 4 years ago, how are we seriously expected to believe the Conservatives can be blamed, clearly the Lib/dems were in power for the period that mattered.

Unlike Mrs Lock I shall provide factual evidence so people can check for themselves who is telling the truth and who is making baseless accusations.

Please cut and paste the link below to the "Comprehensive Performance Assessment" by the audit commission where you will find a 29 page report, not recommended bedtime reading. Schroll down to page 16, paragraph 46 where you will find the following statement:

"This approach enabled a shift in resources of £532,000 to support corporate priorities in 2007/08. For example, funds were moved from public recycling facilities, making £100,000 available for investment in other priority areas such as the contact centre and provision of affordable housing."

So where did our recycling budget go, surely not Wincantons money being taken by the Lib/dems to spend in their priority areas (in other words Yeovil). I'm sure the people of Wincanton would never believe our money is sometimes taken by the Yeovil Lib/dems for their own use - just ask people on the doorstep Mrs Lock - they know.

And whilst we are at it lets look at paragraph 47 which states:

"The Council maintains its focus on delivering priorities, even where this involves difficult decisions. For example, the Council has rationalised public toilet provision, introduced car parking charges and reduced the frequency of refuse and recycling collections in some rural areas."

Oh NO! not again, the Yeovil Lib/dems have made the difficult decision to take our money again to spend in Yeovil. it appears to be a decision they don't find too difficult though given the number of times they do it.

So there we have it, I am sure "dyed in the wool" Lib/dems will take Mrs lock's unsubstantiated claims with no factual backup at face value because they want to. However I am sure the more open minded public will appreciate the factual evidence provided when coming to their decisions.
Last Edit: April 22, 2011, 10:06:19 by Nick Colbert  
Posts: 1
re cycling
Reply #4 on : Fri April 22, 2011, 11:02:11
The then Lib Dem County Council did buy the land for the recycling centre - sorry but no sign of the now Tory County Council planing to see the scheme through. Instead they intend to charge for recycling at Dimmer leading to more fly tipping.
South Somerset District Council have recently expanded their kerbside recycling scheme, a welcome enhancement to an already excellent service. Jane Lock
Tim Carroll
Posts: 1
Car parking charges
Reply #5 on : Fri April 22, 2011, 14:46:56
I have in earlier emails to John Smith and Wincanton Business Together described in detail the SSDC Car Parking Strategy which was adopted in 2007 and covers the period 2007-2012. What I wish to do here is clarify the car parking issue in the future (and alleged charging) as there appears to be a lot of ill-founded speculation over this in Wincanton (and in Castle Cary for that matter).

Commenting as Leader of SSDC and for the avoidance of doubt, SSDC has no plans (within the SSDC financial budget for this year 2011/12) to introduce charging in Wincanton (or Castle Cary) Secondly, the fact the County Council is pursuing an application for Civil Parking Enforcement does NOT automatically trigger charging in the car parks - that will be a separate decision taken by whoever operates the car parks.

As regards future years it has to be appreciated that we are going through significant change nationally and locally - with an emphasis on localism. My personal view is that decisions about charging for local facilities (like car parks) would be best made locally. Furthermore, to ensure this, there is a valid argument in this specific context that control and operation of these local facilities should also be held locally and the obvious candidate to take on this duty would be the local Town Council.

We need remember that the original Car Parking Strategy is only valid up to 2012 so a replacement strategy will then have to be prepared for 2012 onwards. I fully anticipate that that replacement will incorporate the elements of localism which will give Wincanton control of its car parking in the future.

There is one further aspect concerning parking that has nothing to do with the District Council. This is the on-street parking issue which is the subject of the Civil Parking Enforcement application by the County Council. If they are successful you need to be warned that there will be pressure to maximise income from on-street parking as evidenced by what has already happened in Taunton in terms of on street meters.
Nick Colbert
Posts: 5
And now the primary school
Reply #6 on : Fri April 22, 2011, 14:58:51
Before I deal with Mrs Lock's comment about the primary school I will deal with here comment 2 above.

I have looked at the recycling centre land, it is approximately 2 acres of wet agricultural land with a value of about £3,500 per acre so lets say £10,000 to be generous. I am told the Lib/dem County Council paid £120,000 for it showing an overpayment of some £110,000, can someone please explain why the Lib/dems paid so much ratepayers money for 2 soggy acres, I would be interested to know the answer.

Personally I would like to see free recycling centres with enhanced fines for fly-tipping. Now on to the primary School issue.

This is a County matter and nothing to do with the District elections bit I will happily answer for the County.

The Lib/dems were in control of the County until last year. Mrs Lock uses the phrase "In spite of there being a desperate need to replace Wincanton Primary School"

Then why didn't you do it Mrs Lock, your lot were in power for 13 consecutive years and had plenty of time to sort out the Primary School so it's a bit rich for you to complain the minute you lose control that it has not been done.

Your assertion that you would not bring in parking charges is still fatuous, your party would. Didn't the Lib/dems make pledges not to bring in tuition fees before the last election.

The lesson should have been learned, don't promise what you can't deliver.
Last Edit: April 22, 2011, 15:02:59 by Nick Colbert  
Posts: 1
Parking Charges Tim Carroll
Reply #7 on : Fri April 22, 2011, 15:10:10
With referece to what Tim Carroll has said It seems there may be more of a threat from the County Council imposing on us street parking charges in 2013 or later than from the District Council imposing parking charges in its car parks. However, if the Localism Bill turns out to have proper teeth it should become very difficult or impossible for either the District or the County Council to impose such a thing as car parking charges on market towns like Wincanton without the approval of local people. (perhaps expressed through a local referendum) The issue then becomes not so much which party is in power in District or County Council, as the extent to which it is decided by central government that County or District councils can impose such a policy as parking charges on a reluctant local community.
Nick Colbert
Posts: 5
Car parking charges
Reply #8 on : Fri April 22, 2011, 15:10:43
Thank you Mr Carroll for your comment as below,

"Commenting as Leader of SSDC and for the avoidance of doubt, SSDC has no plans (within the SSDC financial budget for this year 2011/12) to introduce charging in Wincanton (or Castle Cary)"

The important bit is

"within the SSDC financial budget for this year 2011/12"

Clearly it is in next year's budget that we could expect the process which is already happening to come into force and parking charges introduced (after the election).

I hope Mr Carroll is correct and the localism bill helps to fend charges off but that is not what the Lib/dem council is pursuing at the moment.
Colin Winder
Posts: 1
District Council Election
Reply #9 on : Fri April 22, 2011, 16:53:21
Who is this Jane Lock who wishes to represent Wincanton on the district council, and where has she been living. She tells us that she was for fourteen years a county councillor, but has no idea what is the responsibility of the county and what is the responsibility of the district council.
The lady has a list of seven priorities in her literature of which six are nothing to do with the district council, most are the responsibility of the county council. What is significant is that there is no mention of the problems of planning at any level and houses for local people is ignored. They both require thought and considered responses and cannot be brushed aside with a slick manifesto reply, they are the concerns of real people.
Her literature refers to the Primary School which is a County Council responsibility, perhaps she can explain why she did nothing in her time at the county. The household waste recycling centre in Moor Lane was cancelled by the Lib/Dem administration of which she was a member, after planning approval was obtained and a presentation to the people of Wincanton of the facility we were about to have on our doorstep. She has no knowledge of the fact that the recycling and the refuse collection is done by an organisation called Somerset Waste Partnership, which is a partnership of the five district councils and the county council. So that the general public are not confused by Mrs Lock’s statements, Dimmer is not a community recycling centre as is Crewkerne where charges are made in order to keep the facility open. The South West Audit were very happy with the way the council finance was dealt with, after all there is a very effective audit committee which I sit on and is chaired by a Conservative Councillor and we work with the finance officer to ensure everything is open and above board.
Jane Lock
Posts: 3
parking charges
Reply #10 on : Fri April 22, 2011, 21:21:24
At no point have I said there is not a policy in place to introduce parking charges in market towns in South Somerset. What I have said is that there is no plan to do so now or in the future without the town’s agreement in Wincanton.
Putting in place the markings, machines and street furniture to implement parking charges would be massively expensive and no budget exists for this to happen in 2011 -2012, public documents please feel free to check.
With a review of the policy next year and in the new era post the Localism Bill any such decision will not be possible without the town’s agreement and new powers to hold referenda on such important matters will be devolved to Town and Parish Councils. South Somerset fully expect to put in place policy to allow Town councils to take over the management of their own local facilities so there will be a final solution in place to prevent charges from being imposed against the will of the community.
Even Tory leaflets only go so far as “possible” charges being introduced. I could equally and as legitimately run the scare story that Tory controlled Somerset County Council could “possibly” introduce on street parking charges in Wincanton under their pursuance of an application for Civil Parking Enforcement, but have not
No I will not withdraw what I have said, because I know it to be honest and truthful without “spin” but I will repeat that with so many other issues facing Wincanton please can we move on. Quoting parts of e mails not sent to them and out dated policy documents is not helpful to anyone. Lib Dem run South Somerset District Council is working hard to protect frontline services, The Audit Commission rate it the number one district council in the west country for its value for money approach.
Jane Lock
Posts: 3
play nicely!
Reply #11 on : Fri April 22, 2011, 21:32:37
My goodness these two "gentlemen" really are showing their true colours now, personal attacks and offensive comments!!
we have a difference of opinion, why not accept that is the case and concentate on getting the best deal for Wincanton.
Nick Colbert
Posts: 5
Getting a bit hysterical
Reply #12 on : Fri April 22, 2011, 22:45:40
Mrs Lock,

Please quote where I have made a personal attack or an offensive comment, I have quoted factual reports and an email showing you are trying to mislead people backing it up with honest varifiable facts. At no point have I personally attacked you or made an offensive comment, despite your quips about lack of imagination from the dynamic duo. Maybe you don't live in the real world, happily the public can schroll through the atricles and see that you have falsly tried to accuse me and deflect them from the real facts.

I don't think the Lib/dems have ever got the best deal for Wincanton or ever will, their loyalty is to Yeovil and has been for decades.
Jane Lock
Posts: 3
Who am I?
Reply #13 on : Sat April 23, 2011, 19:47:22
Colin Winder asks “Who is Jane Lock?”
Thank you so much for asking.
Before my divorce in 2004 I lived in Curry Rivel and was the County Councillor there for 14 years between 1987 and 2001. When I joined I was the youngest woman on the Council and when I did not seek re-election 14 years later I was the second youngest!
Some of the positions I held on the County Council at various times were
Deputy Leader and Vice Chair of the Executive
Chair of Social Services
Executive Portfolio Holder Care and Safety (Social Services, Fire Service and Trading Standards)
Chair of the County Farms Selection Panel
Chair of the Adoption Panel
I chaired the first joint NHS and Social Services Trust for mental health in the country
I sat on most committees and panels as a member during my time.
A few of my achievements in my division
The re building of Curry Rivel Primary School and later a new school hall
New classrooms at Hambridge Primary school
The merging of Ilton First School with Barrington on two sites to prevent either of them closing
Speed limits in Ilton, Curry Rivel, Hambridge and Fivehead
Helping Dillington House Adult Learning Centre survive and expand
Numerous road improvements and footways built.
A new Village Hall for Fivehead
Playgroup building for Curry Rivel
In 2001 I was the only politician on the panel convened to deal with Somerset’s response to the Foot and Mouth crisis, working with officers from the Districts, Ministry vets and the NFU, we all worked together and I am sure you remember Somerset was far less affected than many neighbouring counties.
I hope this gives you an idea of the hard work and commitment I am able to offer. When helping local residents with issues and problems, I always got them an answer, it might not be the one they wanted, but just getting a response often helps.
I was the only member of the Local Government Association who was directly involved in adoption and led the response to the Prime Ministers review.
Working with a Government Minister (John Prescott as it happens) I pointed out a loophole in the law regarding the employment of people with a disability – and got it changed.
Working with partners in Ireland, France, and Italy to help get disabled people back to work and presented our findings to the European Parliament.
James Phillips
Posts: 1
Re: What Parking Charges?
Reply #14 on : Tue May 03, 2011, 21:11:46
It is quite quite hard to see the personal attacks there, even as a liberal democrat sympathiser. Sounds like you just didn't want to face any criticism and so played the hurt feelings card.
Posts: 1
What Parking Charges
Reply #15 on : Thu May 05, 2011, 11:30:15
I’m with James on this one. I would have considered voting for them at this election, but they fudged the issue of parking charges on the run up to the husting, and on the night itself. They played with words to try and keep the agenda afloat.

From all that has been printed and said on this subject to date it’s clear to all that:

1. The parking charges policy does exist and was voted into existence in 1997
2. The evidence shows that Wincanton is a part of that plan. I asked about this and was sent copies of the correspondence showing what the charges in Wincanton would be.
3. In the Window and on the night of the husting the Lib Dem candidate clearly stated that there was no plan to introduce parking charges in Wincanton in the current financial year 2011/2012.
4. It was inferred that there never had been plans to introduce parking charges in Wincanton. (See point 2 above.). It’s a no brainer.

I am assuming that the current financial climate has put the mockers on the introduction, hence the statement “Not in this current financial year”. What about 2012/2013?

The overall plan is up for review during 2012 so everyone in Wincanton should be shouting very loudly that “We don’t want parking charges in Wincanton” until the review is completed and the plan ditched. Well done to the folk that got the posters up round the town. Good job.

We should also be holding our District Councillors (whatever the flavour) responsible to ensure that these charges are never introduced. I note especially that Mrs Lock the Lib Dem candidate stated clearly that she was against the introduction of charges and would fight it. So, if Mrs Lock is elected I hope that she’ll be true to her word and fight this daft plan that would do nothing but hurt our town.

As for the vote itself I will not vote Lib Dem because they fudged the issue. If the Lib Dems had stood up and come clean that with hindsight it was a bad plan for this town and that they would no longer consider introducing parking charges I may have voted differently.

Get out there and vote folks. If you really care about this lovely town, get out and vote for those who want to serve Wincanton. They deserve your support. I’m new to the area but I will be casting my vote.

Posts: 1
Which side am I on?
Reply #16 on : Thu May 05, 2011, 14:41:03
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems we're all firmly on the SAME SIDE, wanting the SAME THING.

We're arguing pedantically over nothing more than semantics.

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