Labour council bosses determined to press ahead with new parking scheme.
At a meeting of Merton Council focusing on air quality, Liberal Democrats councillors called on the Council to scrap their plans to massively increase parking charges based on where you live, and instead move towards an emissions based scheme where the worst polluting vehicles pay more.
The plan was voted down by Labour councillors. [You can see the debate here on Youtube]
An analysis by Merton Lib Dems has shown that the proposed new charges for residents parking permits will mainly affect areas without Labour councillors. The increases will raise £1.4m a year, over £1m (70%) of which will be paid by people in Wimbledon, £172k from Raynes park but only £72k (5%) from the whole of Mitcham and Morden.
Lib Dem Cllr Simon McGrath said:
“Labour Council bosses have provided no evidence that their plan to increase parking charges will reduce traffic. The scheme looks like it’s purely to raise revenue, targeted at people who live in areas that don’t elect Labour councillors.”
Lib Dem Cllr Eloise Bailey also proposed the appointment of a new Air quality Scrutiny Champion, to ensure a focus on effective action to cut air pollution. This was also blocked by Labour councillors. [You can see the debate here on Youtube]
Speaking after the meeting Cllr Bailey said:
“I'm so disappointed. Poor air quality is a huge health issue, and our idea was to try to get a real focus on air quality in the Council’s work, and get effective action.”