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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Cumbria county council takes control of on-street parking

Cumbria County Council is taking control of enforcing on-street parking rules itself.

Alan Smith photo
Alan Smith

It is resuming responsibility for managing parking under its control in the Allerdale and Copeland areas.

And talks are taking place about whether the same should happen in Carlisle and Eden.

The county council is legally responsible for on-street parking enforcement, but in the past has contracted district councils to manage that work.

Parking is a hot political topic with controversy continuing to surround the county council’s plans to bring in on-street parking charges in parts of 11 town centres.

Heavily opposed proposals already approved for Carlisle will fall under the spotlight at a meeting today.

Presently, Allerdale council is responsible for its own enforcement as well as Copeland’s and Carlisle also has responsibility for Eden.

Both Allerdale and Carlisle City councils have received letters from the county council, giving notice of termination and Allerdale and Copeland will transfer ownership at the beginning of November 1.

However, Carlisle is currently in discussions with the county regarding the issue.

A county council spokesman said following a “long-running” review of on-street parking enforcement across the county, the council would “in principle” enforce on-street parking and administer residents parking permits.

He added that discussions were ongoing with Barrow Council about whether enforcement should be delivered by the district council, but South Lakeland was brought back in-house in 2012, saving 20 per cent a year in enforcement costs.

“We will be working closely with all of the relevant district councils to manage the next stage of this transition and the transferal of staff from the district councils to the county council,” he added.

Allerdale council will still manage parking in its own car parks.

Council leader Alan Smith said: “We’ve been providing a very local service which, we hope, has been very convenient for the people who live and work in Allerdale.

“I want to reassure people that, though there will be a loss of income to this council, we didn’t make a profit and only ever broke even, so our other services will not be affected by the loss of revenue.

“We will be working with the county council to ensure a smooth transition.”

While the county council’s local committee for Carlisle approved the parking charges plans for the city and Copeland’s for Whitehaven, their opposite numbers on the committees for Eden and Allerdale refused to pass those for Penrith and Keswick.

The authority’s leaders are examining how the controversial charges are to be pursued in the wake of those decision.

They remain adamant that the charges will be brought in, regardless of these committee decisions.

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