Decision due on plans to charge for Portsmouth residents’ parking permits

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A MEETING is to be held to decide whether Portsmouth motorists living in a resident parking zone should pay for their first permit.

Councillor Ken Ellcome, Tory cabinet member for traffic and transport, will consider whether the controversial proposals should go ahead.

Council officers have recommended ahead of the meeting, subject to public consultation, that an annual charge is introduced for a home’s first resident permit from April 1.

Residents would have to pay once their permit is up for renewal.

It has been proposed that first permits – which are currently free – should cost £40 a year, the second should be £60 as opposed to £53.50 and the third permit would increase from £107.50 to £120, with charges rising for more.

Charges for business permits are also set to rise; with the first being £120 instead of £107.50, the second being £240 instead of £215 and three or more would cost £360 a year each instead of £325.

Permit charges would then be increased proportionately on an annual basis.

As previously reported in The News, the new charging scheme would help Portsmouth City Council’s traffic department claw back £380,000 a year at a time when £13.1m in total needs to be saved from the budget due to cuts in government funding.

Residents in the city have already reacted furiously to the plans, which were outlined in a consultation over the budget.

A decision over the charging scheme will be made on Thursday, January 8, at 5pm at Portsmouth Guildhall, in the executive meeting room on the third floor.