Portsmouth councillor hits back at critics over plan to roll out new parking scheme - in ward he represents

Cosham councillor Jim Fleming
Cosham councillor Jim Fleming

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A COUNCILLOR who is set to decide whether to introduce a residents’ parking zone in a ward he represents today has defended the proposal.

Councillor Jim Fleming, who represents Portsmouth’s Cosham ward, has been criticised for favouring his own residents when people in Southsea have long campaigned to have their parking permits back.

But Cllr Fleming says he is only following a ‘timetable’ of scheduled parking improvement plans – and is perfectly entitled to consider rolling out a new residential parking scheme in Cosham.

Cllr Fleming, who was elected to the council in May this year, said: ‘Councillors are only prevented from taking part in decisions where they have a personal and prejudicial interest in the matter.

‘I do not live in the area affected and as such derive no benefit from whatever decision may be made.

‘The situation is no different to matters affecting wards which are decided by other council bodies such as the Full Council or Planning Committee.

‘Residents Parking Zones are part of a programme of works and this particular survey was part of that timetable and was carried out before my appointment to this role.

‘Some councillors clearly think that by shouting louder that they will get things done, but I believe it is always best to follow an impartial schedule which treats all residents and areas fairly and equitably.’

As reported, Cllr Fleming will also consider plans to splash out £54,000 on two mobile cameras to catch cars parking illegally outside schools - which blocks the view of children trying to cross the road and obstructs other road users.

Once caught, offenders would then be issued with a £70 fine.

Parking officers have come up with the plan after the results of a survey of parents, teachers and school governors showed 84 per cent believed pupils were at risk on roads outside city schools.

Both the zig-zag camera and Cosham parking plan will be considered at meeting taking place today from 4pm at Portsmouth Guildhall.