Full Council meeting – Residents’ Associations parking charges motion narrowly blocked
On Wednesday 22 January, a scheduled Full Council meeting of Havering Council was held. As part of this, Residents’ Association groups from across the borough, including the Upminster and Cranham Residents’ Association (UCRA) councillors, put forward the joint motion below –
FREE PARKING PERIOD
As a consequence of a neighbouring borough’s (Redbridge) move to support their high streets, by increasing free parking to one hour, we call on this Council to, at the very least, re-introduce the 30 minute free parking.
The Conservative Administration put forward an amendment to this (effectively a blocking motion), as below –
This Council notes that the 1 hour free parking introduced within Redbridge Borough is based upon cashless parking operating across Redbridge; it also notes the age profile of Havering and access to digital equipment across the Borough and welcomes the Administration’s position to maintain cash payments for parking, and it further welcomes the Administration’s position on supporting the High Street.
After a robust debate, in which UCRA councillors Linda Hawthorn, Ron Ower, John Tyler and Chris Wilkins all spoke, a vote was taken on the Conservative amendment, amongst the 53 councillors present (one was absent due to ill health).
The result was 25 for the amendment (all Conservative councillors), 24 against the amendment (all of the opposition councillors, plus Councillor Melvin Wallace (who is now an Independent)) and four abstentions (the three Harold Wood Ward councillors, plus Councillor John Mylod (Conservative – St. Andrews Ward)).
As the Conservative amendment was passed by one vote, the original Residents’ Association groups motion was not heard.
Despite being disappointed that our latest attempt to get the free 30-minute parking re-introduced was not successful, we will continue to press for not only this but a full review of the increased parking charges that were introduced last year. We will provide updates in The Bulletin, on social media and on this website when we have further news.