Portsmouth Tory councillor in the spotlight over parking decision

Residents were furious about the decision to stop parking schemes in Southsea
Residents were furious about the decision to stop parking schemes in Southsea

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A COMPLAINTS panel will decide whether a councillor acted inappropriately when suspending two parking zones in Southsea.

Twenty-three residents have complained to Portsmouth City Council about the way Cllr Ken Ellcome removed restrictions.

They believe the Tory cabinet member for traffic and transport breached the council’s code of conduct by not consulting them.

A committee will now be given the responsibility of deciding whether his actions amounted to a breach of the rules and if there should be a full inquiry to determine if he should be disciplined.

As reported, Cllr Ellcome decided Southsea’s MB and MC schemes will be suspended from the beginning of September.
He believed they were both having an impact on nearby roads without restrictions due to the large number of people without permits parking in those areas.

Harry Chadwick, of Wyndcliffe Road, Southsea, put in a complaint when he heard of the plans.

In his reason to the council he said: ‘Cllr Ellcome is seeking to “revoke” the MC parking zone without consultation with anyone.

‘It should be remembered that the creation of this zone followed lengthy public consultation and a democratic vote [which happened] twice.

‘I would like to see this plan to change MB Zone and revoke MC Zone abolished, and Cllr Ellcome reprimanded.’

Lib Dem councillor Lee Hunt, who has campaigned on behalf of residents, said Cllr Ellcome had been made the Tory cabinet’s ‘fall guy’.

‘Cllr Ellcome isn’t just to blame for this, this was a decision taken by the rest of the new administration too,’ Cllr Hunt said.

No date has been set for the meeting yet, but a separate one about the merit of Cllr Ellcome’s decision will be reviewed by a scrutiny panel on Friday, August 29.

Meanwhile, a small number of residents living within the zones supported the move as there are hundreds of spaces being left empty.

That has been blamed on students in the area who don’t qualify for permits as their cars are not registered to their house.

Massoud Esmaili who lives within the MB zone, said: ‘There are so many spaces but people can’t park in them.

‘We need a plan and have to find a solution.’