Paynter Moves Swiftly to Scrap Council Disabled Parking Bay Charges – Tories Claim Victory for People Power

I am disappointed that the Leader of the Council has seen fit to politicise a motion I have taken great pains to ensure was cross party

Cornwall Council confirmed late last night it will immediately suspend charges for installing Disabled Parking Bays in Cornwall whilst it urgently reviews current policy.

To provide a disabled parking space for a resident, the Council goes through a legal process to introduce a Traffic Regulation Order.  This involves public consultation and normally costs around £3,800.

The issue hit the headlines this week – including now national headlines – after a BBC Spotlight report highlighting the issue caused outrage.


Cornwall Council Leader, Adam Paynter (Lib Dem, Launceston)

Yesterday Council leader Adam Paynter admitted he hadn’t heard of the charge before now. He called it ‘clearly ridiculous’ and swiftly called a full review.

“We have a responsibility to support people to have active lives in their local community, which is why I have asked for an urgent review. People with a disability should not be disadvantaged by a policy and our practice needs to be consistent with the rest of the country,” he said.

The Council say they will also be consulting with residents and disability groups in Cornwall to explore options and consider best practices used by other local authorities.

Rob Bullen

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In the meantime, the Council has immediately suspended any further charges for individual disable people while the review is undertaken.

The findings of the review will come to Cabinet with the aim of completing the review for the start of the next financial year in April.

Council leader Paynter said that his initial brief look into the problem found that the charge was introduced by the last Conservative administration at County Hall (2009 – 2013) and he would be happy to correct their mistake.

Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) are legal agreements which allow us or the police to enforce regulations including speed limits, on-street parking and one way streets.

Remember when Porthleven didn’t bother getting a TRO and painted Fake Yellow Lines to deter tourists from parking? It’s like that

But the Cornish Conservatives are claiming victory for people power and have said that the Council have ‘bowed to public pressure’

The Conservatives had made their protest about the £3800 charge in a motion calling for it to be scrapped at yesterday’s full council.

From the Gallery – Report from Full Council – “More fudge than at the seaside”

The said that other councils charge a fraction of the money Cormac do, or nothing at all. Yesterday Adam Paynter said that’s because they don’t do it properly and don’t bother applying for a TRO, which makes up the majority o the cost. “Clearly it doesn’t cost three thousand pound to put a bit of white or yellow paint on the road” he said before adding it was the legal and consultation costs that make it so expensive.

“Cornwall Council bows to pressure to scrap disabled parking charges”

Cllr Richard Pears, the young Conservative councillor who introduced the motion to Council yesterday welcomed the late-night statement by Cornwall Council.
Cllr Richard Pears (Con, St Austell Bay)



He said:
“I am pleased to see Cornwall Council take action on the same day I brought this motion before Full Council, to move towards ending these unfair and discriminatory charges on disabled people in Cornwall.”
“The current measures were effectively a ‘disability tax’ and I am pleased that Cornwall Councillors from across the political spectrum agreed with me in supporting our motion to change this.”
“I am pleased that the ruling administration has seen sense and agrees with us that this needs to change. I am disappointed that the Leader of the Council has seen fit to politicise a motion I have taken great pains to ensure was cross party and NOT political. I have never mentioned a party or blamed any administration or leadership in my statements to the press.
I still believe that this issue is an unfortunate oversight which all parties and administrations of the council since its inception -over 9 years ago- have overlooked. I might point out that our current leader has spent 5 of those years in the Cabinet, as Deputy Leader and now as Leader of the Council, without making any move to repeal this charge.”
“Still, I am glad to have highlighted this issue and helped find a solution, and will continue, along with my colleagues, to lobby both the Leader and the Cabinet to make these sensible changes in the best interests of the people of Cornwall.”

 

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