Controversial Southsea parking report not heard due to cabinet member’s ‘error’

Parking permit extensions are causing controversy in Southsea
Parking permit extensions are causing controversy in Southsea
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A LIBERAL Democrat cabinet member has come under fire after ‘shambolic’ procedures meant a report on extending parking permit areas in the city could not be discussed.

At last week’s Portsmouth City Council meeting for traffic and transport, several members of the public and councillors turned up to have their say on controversial plans to create two new permitted areas in Southsea.

Following a survey carried out by the ruling Lib Dem party it was recommended these additional zones be created around Orchard Road and Bramble Road, similar to MB and MC areas that were previously abolished.

All other zones were also up for deliberation, with revisions to be considered.

However, those affected were unable to enter a debate after it was revealed the chairman of the meeting and head of transport, Cllr Lynne Stagg, had an interest in the matter due to residing in HC zone that was part of the report.

Former transport boss Cllr Simon Bosher stopped the meeting once he heard the news.

He said: ‘You can’t rewrite a report in a public meeting.

‘She’s had that report longer than most so either she didn't read her own report or something is not right here. It is complete incompetence.' 

Tory councillor Luke Stubbs agreed.

He said: ‘It is a complete and total farce. It is disappointing this couldn’t go ahead at the meeting because of procedural mistakes.

‘I hope a report as important as this isn’t brought forward in August when a lot of councillors aren’t around. We may have to look at this again in the late summer or early autumn.’

He was also sceptical of the report and added: ‘I would say that the administration has learnt nothing from when they brought those parking zones in before. 

‘All that will happen is the cars will be displaced into neighbouring streets. Either leave them alone or extend them.’ 

But Cllr Stagg said: 'I wasn't aware that at this initial stage where we were deciding on whether to go out to consultation on the issue, not making an actual decision, that I needed to declare an interest.

‘When I was made aware, it was too short notice to appoint another councillor so regrettably it couldn't go ahead and will have to be heard at a further meeting.’