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Mayor matters: Tony Davey on parking permit fiasco

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Tony Davey, Stroud’s newly-elected mayor, has issued a statement declaring his frustration that £156k of public money was used on a consultation process for a parking permit scheme.

Gloucestershire County Council splashed more than £156,000 on a parking project for Stroud, which has now been withdrawn.

This includes consultant fees costing £142,815, postage costs of £6,531, the ANPR survey costing £6,500 plus GCC staff time costing £500.

Under the plans, if approved, residents in 56 roads would have needed to buy permits at £61.80 a year for one vehicle and £123.60 for a second while traders would have been expected to fork out £320 per permit.

Speaking before parliament was dissolved on Thursday, Davey said: “I must express my deep disappointment that nearly £156,000 of public funds was squandered on a consultation process that was fundamentally flawed from the very beginning.

“Our council officers and elected members repeatedly raised concerns about the problematic nature of this consultation to Gloucestershire County Council, but those warnings went unheeded.

“This poorly-targeted expenditure represents a missed opportunity to direct those substantial resources towards benefitting our local community.

“The funds spent on this misguided consultation could instead have been invested in tangible improvements to infrastructure, services, or support for our residents.

“Moving forward, I urge the county to demonstrate that it has learned from this experience by prioritising genuine engagement with town and parish councils who understand the nuances of their areas.

“Our residents deserve better stewardship of their money and resources.”

A GCC spokesperson said: “Following concerns raised by the local community about parking challenges in Stroud, we undertook some work to develop and scope a new parking zone.

“As part of this work, we held a full informal on the proposed parking scheme to give the whole community an opportunity to share their views on the proposals.

“Having listened to all the views shared with us, we have decided not to progress with the proposed scheme as a majority of the community is against a parking zone.

“It is important that we act when communities ask us to, and equally that we stop when asked to – that is what we did here.”

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