October 18, 2018 4.12 pm This story is over 37 months old

Apology after town council excluded from parking consultation

The council was “unconsciously excluded”

West Lindsey District Council has apologised after its consultation on new parking permit charges failed to take Market Rasen Town Council into account.

As reported, some parking permit prices could almost triple as WLDC tries to keep parking in the town free for two hours in order to attract shoppers and improve business.

However, in a letter to town councillors, senior property strategy and projects officer David Kirkup has apologised after “unconsciously excluding” MRTC from its consultation.

In the letter he explains how the authority used a ‘Citizen Panel’ for its six-week consultation in order to reduce costs and ensure a ‘broad coverage’.

“The panel includes people in Market Rasen and areas around it,” he explains.

“The MRTC were not consciously excluded from direct consultation, but in hindsight it would have been appropriate to copy you in, please accept our apologies for this oversight.”

The letter sent to Market Rasen Town Councillors.

He goes on to say that the concerns raised by the town council ‘have been added to the consultation responses’.

Mr Kirkup says the scheme, which the council says needs to be ‘self-financing’ following its introductory year, has ‘proven popular’, adding: “anecdotally businesses tell us it has helped.”

The scheme was introduced following the creation of the three-year vision, along with a series of regeneration plans for the town, in 2017.

A WLDC spokesman said the hope was to create a boost for traders, but said that at the time it was made clear that if the initiative continued it would need to pay for itself – recovering costs through permits.

The proposed rises set to go before councillors next Tuesday.

The spokesman said those regeneration plan discussions were “ongoing” and included a £200,000 grant to support projects, funding support for the newly opened skate park and the transfer of the WLDC office space in the Festival Hall to support the further use of this building as arts hub.

Director of Commercial and Economic Growth, Eve Fawcett-Moralee, who has been involved since the project began, said: “The Town Council and business community need to ensure that their emerging plans focus on harnessing the benefits of the housing-led economic growth the town has attracted to benefit its local economy.

“In addition the review of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan is an opportunity for the town to position itself with the Greater Lincolnshire growth agenda and get some strategic wins to move forward.”

The letter from Mr Kirkup says town councillors have since been met for further discussion.

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