OPPOSITION councillors have slammed a plan to force residents to choose between paying for residents’ parking permits or losing their zones.
Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for traffic and transportation Councillor Ken Ellcome led a meeting to hear deputations on the scheme, which will save the authority thousands of pounds.
It’s like metaphorically putting a gun to people’s headsDave Ashmore
But Lib Dem councillors spoke out against the idea, which would see residents paying £30 a year to park near their homes.
The council’s initial consultation showed that of the city’s 35 zones, only four – Farmlea Road, Portsea North, Fratton and Bervis Road, opposed paying up and would therefore lose their residents’ parking.
Lib Dem Councillor for Fratton ward Cllr Dave Ashmore said many residents were unable to pay but wanted to keep their parking zones.
He said: ‘It’s like metaphorically putting a gun to people’s heads.
‘Most people I have spoken to said they wish they could just keep things how they were.’
Fellow Lib Dem Cllr Matthew Winnington said the proposed changes would hit the hardest up the most, and criticised the council for its ‘lack of vision’ over parking.
He said: ‘We have people living in those zones who are going to lose their parking who are in socially-deprived groups. Please do an Equality Impact Assessment and actually think about the future of parking in this city.’
But Labour traffic spokesman Cllr Ken Ferrett threw his support behind the scheme.
He said: ‘If those parking zones are going to continue to exist then they have to pay their way.’
Cllr Elcombe emphasised that no decisions had yet been made and there would be another round of consultation.
He said: ‘We need to balance the holes in the budget and this is in the council’s budget as an item of revenue.’