Please add you name address to the bottom of the email below and email it to David Bond Immediately deadline Midnight tonight. It contains new evidence and should be sent even if you have already objected.
Mr D.E. Bond
Director of Law & Democracy
19th July 2013
Ref: Objections To The Pay & Display Traffic Regulation Order
I am concerned that the Council is acting unlawfully in its approach to the implementation of the parking scheme; we do not accept that the current parking disc scheme does not work, we do not believe the Council’s Pay and Display scheme is the solution to create extra capacity for visitors and we do not consider the Council has consulted appropriately on the proposals
It seems no technical evidence or impact assessment has been produced by the Council to justify the need for the scheme; this information is required to ensure the Council is progressing with a financially viable scheme, and to ensure that the impact of displaced parking into adjacent residential areas is appropriately assessed.
There is considerable opposition to the proposals from residents and local businesses in the town; the Council is aware of the strength of local opposition but is continuing to move forward with the scheme.
The National Chairman of the Federation of Small Business John Allan has been to see you and told you that the scheme will damage Yarm. It is also reported in the Local press that SBC has used the FSB name in attempt to imply that you have consulted with them.
You website states
“With any changes, it is important that the different views and possible impacts of them are discussed in an open and honest way.”
As part of the review, Stockton Council has continued to meet with Yarm Town Council, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Chamber of Trade to set out how the proposed changes will work.
SBC has NOT consulted with the FSB. In any event the FSBs position is that Pay and Display will damage Yarm.
SBC has not met with YTC in recent months and in any event Yarm Town Councils position remains that Pay and Display should not be introduced. Its views have been ignored.
SBC have not consulted with the business community of Yarm. SBC were informed that iTRADE Yarm could be approached to seek business opinion. SBC were also informed that Yarm Chamber of Trade no longer represented the views of businesses in Yarm. SBC have continued to seek the views of YCT in the full knowledge that the YCT were no longer representative of this important stakeholder group. Richard McGuckin had ample time to meet with iTRADE Yarm but chose not to.
On the 14th March 2013 I informed Richard McGuckin that Yarm Chamber of Trade no longer represented the views of the business community in Yarm.
“Please be advised that if you wish to carry out this process correctly it will be essential for your offices to meet with us to discuss the Business communities views on Pay & Display and other parking arrangements in Yarm. Yarm Chamber of Trade no longer have the mandate to do so.”
It would have been very straight forward for your officer to establish the validity of this statement.
Please also see this e-mail:-
From: Enquiries Holt <firstname.lastname@example.org>Subject: Re: YTC Date: 18 July 2013 20:53:13 GMT+01:00 To: Chris Johnson<email@example.com>Reply-To: Enquiries Holt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thank you for including me in your email. I don’t believe it is a subject of contention that itrade has the majority support of traders with regard to the P & D issue.
I certainly have not claimed, nor I think has Stephanie, to represent the majority of traders in Yarm over this issue, nor did I during the Town Council Meeting where I made it very clear I was expressing my own views. (Which, mainly about long stay parking, were reasonably well received).
I would also say that, as requested by yourself, Stephanie has not continued to negotiate with Stockton Borough Council since the last documented meeting, which Michael (Kaye’s partner) attended , although she has talked to Richard McGuickin once when he updated her on a long stay car park. This was to allow you space to try to stop P & D if you were able.
As far as I am aware, while Stephanie has not changed her mind on P & D, her views have only really been expressed in emails to yourself and other individuals in Yarm and not SBC. While i can understand that you may find it a source of irritation that you haven’t got her on board, the reality is she is entitiled to her own opinion and it should not have impacted on your efforts publicly to fend off P & D.
Kind regards, Paddy
iTRADE Yarm represents 98 businesses in Yarm:-
Adam Barber Shop, AJL Specialist Fencing Contractors, Alison Pybus Family Mediator, ArtsBank Yarm, At The Skin Company, Attitudes Womenswear, Aviva Labs, Bang and Olufsen, Bluestrawberry, Boots, Bridgfords Estate Agents, Browns Alternative Flooring, Business consultants (Internatonal) Limited, Cloud Cuckoo, Coles Solicitors, Cooplands, Crofters, Crumbs Sandwich Bar, Dashing Hounds, David Spooner Plumbing and Bathroom services Yarm, Diana Kaye Florist, Diva, Domestic Cleaning Services Yarm, DotUK, Dream Doors, Eagle Compliance Ltd, ELR Architects, Enhance Dental Care, Fat Face, Fonehouse, Foodie Magazine Teesside, Forths Solicitors, G Shackleton, Gaia Heat Limited, Happy Leaves Ltd, Hairtek Ltd, Halifax Plc, Henderson Opticians, Impressions, Independant Cambridge Weightplan Consultant, JJ’s Butterfly Cupcakes, Jules B, Kyle Travel Services, L.A.HAIR, Lewis & Coope, Marketcross Jewellers, Lotus Lounge, Melling Financial Planning, Michael Poole, Miranda Marie Bridal, Muse, NATWEST Bank, Originals Interiors, Physiotherapy@theskincompany, Pop Vocals Classical Singing, Pro Install, R&H Properties, R D W Bespoke Furniture, Readman Rohan Ltd, Rees & Wade Optometrists, Roseberry Newhouse, Sainsburys, Saks Hairdressing, Santoro Restaurant, Say it with Glass, Scott-Collier Taylor, Sparkle and Spire Jewellery, Starters, Stephen Russel, Stewart Greenidge Decorating, Synergy Telecoms, Teesside Media Group, The Cake Room Ltd, The Conservatory, The Dressing Room Yarm, The 500 Group, The Keys Yarm, The Linton Centre, The Little Black Dress Agency, THE LITTLE BRA SHOP, The pilates studio yarm, TheMockingbird Deli, Thomas The Baker, Thomsons Travel, Violette Lingerie, Yarm Building Services, Yarm Computers Ltd, Yarm Cricket Club, Yarm DIY, Yarm Originals, Yarm Osteopaths, Yarm Web Design, YOPP Ltd, Your Move
To date Richard McGuckin has sent a standard reply to iTRADE confirming receipt of their original email. On the 19th March 2013 Richard McGuckin e-mailed iTRADE Yarm indicating that he would consider meeting.
No further communication has been attempted or made with iTRADE Yarm by Richard McGukin or Stockton Borough Council.
Richard McGuckin has reported to members and widely in the press that proper consultation has taken place with all relevant interest groups. Richard McGuckin has stated that “in the past he has arranged meetings with the business community in Yarm and complained that only 23 people attended.” 23 people who were all against Pay and Display in any even does not represent proper consultation with the business community of Yarm. Richard Poundford a senior SBC officer attended this meeting.
Much of this behavior appears to have been deliberate. At best it demonstrates incompetence and if this behavior has been a deliberate attempt to ignore the views of a significant stake holder and there would appear to be no other explanation, it should certainly be investigated by Stockton Borough Council’s senior management team and the appropriate action taken.
SBC have not had proper consultation with stakeholders during this process. Obtaining a TRO on this basis would not be lawful.
By the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 a local authority has the power to provide off-street parking places and authorise on-street parking for the purpose of relieving or preventing congestion of traffic. Section 35 of the Act gives the local authority power to impose charges for off-street parking. The local authority may not authorise roads for on-street parking if that will unreasonably prevent access to any premises adjoining the road or so as to be a nuisance. By section 37(4) the local authority may not make such an order unless they are satisfied that the general scheme of traffic control
(a) is adequate in point of area;
(b) takes adequate account of the need for maintaining the free movement of traffic and of the need for maintaining reasonable access to premises;
(c) takes adequate account of the effect of heavy commercial vehicles on amenities; and
(d) makes provision for street parking places, and for regulating their use with the aid of apparatus or devices, which is suitable, regard being had to the extent to which off-street parking places are available in the neighbourhood or their provision is likely to be encouraged by the scheme.
By section 45 of the Act, there is a power for local authorities to designate parking places on highways. Under this provision, the local authority may charge for on-street parking. Again, when considering whether to make such an order, the local authority must have regard to
(a) the need for maintaining the free movement of traffic;
(b) the need for maintaining reasonable access to premises; and
(c) the extent to which off-street parking accommodation, whether in the open or under cover, is available in the neighbourhood or the provision of such parking accommodation is likely to be encouraged there by the designation of parking places under this section.
Section 122 provides:
“(1) It shall be the duty of every local authority upon whom functions are conferred by or under this Act, so to exercise the functions conferred on them by this Act as (so far as practicable having regard to the matters specified in subs.(2) below) to secure the expeditious, convenient and safe movement of the vehicular and other traffic (including pedestrians) and the provision of suitable and adequate parking facilities on and off the highway …
(2) The matters referred to in subs.(1) above as being specified in this subsection are–(a) the desirability of securing and maintaining reasonable access to premises; (b) the effect on the amenities of any locality affected and (without prejudice to the generality of this paragraph) the importance of regulating and restricting the use of roads by heavy commercial vehicles, so as to preserve or improve the amenities of the areas through which the roads run; (bb) the strategy prepared under s.80 of the Environment Act 1995 (national air quality strategy); (c) the importance of facilitating the passage of public service vehicles and of securing the safety and convenience of persons using or desiring to use such vehicles; and (d) any other matters appearing to the local authority to be relevant.”
In R v Camden LBC ex parte Cran  RTR 346, McCullough J emphasised that the power to impose parking charges was not to be used for raising finance. Further, section 122 requires that the scheme had to provide suitable and adequate parking facilities for residents and businesses facilities so far as practicable and that duty was balanced by the duty to facilitate the safe movement of traffic. In relation to consultation, McCullough J reiterated at 373-4 the requirements for consultation to be considered effective:
The duty to consult may be imposed by statute or may arise because the parties to be consulted have a legitimate expectation of consultation which results either from a promise or from an established practice of consultation.
What kind and amount of consultation is required in a particular case must depend on the circumstances. A few general principles can, however, be stated. The process of consultation must be effective; looked at as a whole, it must be fair. This requires that: consultation must take place while the proposals are still at a formative stage; those consulted must be provided with information which is accurate and sufficient to enable them to make a meaningful response; they must be given adequate time in which to do so; there must be adequate time for their responses to be considered; the consulting party must consider the responses with a receptive mind and in a conscientious manner when reaching its decision.
In addition, consultation “with” the relevant people means a two-way process, not just receiving representations from them.
In R v North and East Devon Health Authority ex parte Coughlan  QB 213 at 108 the Court of Appeal said that a public authority cannot wait for people to make representations; it must actively inform the affected persons of the proposals and give them the opportunity to make representations. The Court said that “to be proper, consultation must be undertaken at a time when proposals are still at a formative stage; it must include sufficient reasons for particular proposals to allow those consulted to give intelligent consideration and an intelligent response; adequate time must be given for this purpose; and the product of consultation must be conscientiously taken into account when the ultimate decision is taken”.
With new evidence that has come to light post the JR brought by YTC last year there is no doubt that in terms of law SBC has not come close to conducting proper consultation re Pay and Display.
Further, SBC has yet to provide a lawful reason for introducing Pay & Display into Yarm High Street. The cobbles are deemed to be High Way and do not represent a car park on private land the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 applies.
Pay and Display will have no effect on congestion.
The Disc Zone works with the PCN issue no longer existing. PCN rates of issue in the High Street have dropped by 58% since the report provided to Cabinet sighting this as a reason to change parking management. The high PCN issue rate was clearly caused by over zealous enforcement as the only thing that has changed is the town has one enforcement office instead of 3. Officer failed to provide this information to Cabinet in January this year.
Their decision was therefore based on out of date information. The officers concerned should be investigated by SBC as this is a serious failure in such an important issue that effects the lives of 1000s of people.
Pay and Display will have no effect on road safety.
There are no lawful reason to for SBC to obtain a TRO under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.
SBC should therefore scrap all of the restrictions proposed in the relevant TRO.
The Council appears to be attempting to deliver a scheme that will drive footfall from Yarm to its own failed High Street
The Council also needs to be mindful of the advice contained within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Paragraph 40 states:
‘Local authorities should seek to improve the quality of parking in town centres so that it is convenient, safe and secure, including appropriate provision for motorcycles. They should set appropriate parking charges that do not undermine the vitality of town centres. Parking enforcement should be proportionate’
In addition, the advice containing in the 2011 Portas Review states:
‘Local areas should implement free controlled parking schemes that work for their town centres and we should have a new parking league table’
The information provided on the Council’s website does not demonstrate how the scheme meets the above requirements of the NPPF, nor how its proposals sit with the findings of the Portas Review.
The vitality of the Yarm town centre is key to the implementation of any parking scheme, and to ensure that this vitality is maintained and improved the Council needs to listen to stakeholders, residents, visitors, businesses, workers and organisations like the FSB.
Stokesley operates a near-identical free 2-hour disc parking scheme to Yarm across their 167 parking spaces across the High Street. Charges are in place for the use of the Showfield car park, ranging from 50p for 1 hour through to £2 for a whole day). The alternative parking proposal put to SBC by YTC follows this exact model without the need to introduce Pay and Display into the High Street
I consider the Council is trying to deliver a strategy that is without basis save for driving footfall to Stockton High Street.
Without the technical evidence to demonstrate the current parking demand, duration of stay, turnover of spaces and compliance with existing parking restrictions the Council is trying to deliver a strategy based on a combination of phone and face to face interviews with a cross-section of the community. This doesn’t give the Council the information it needs to prepare a robust assessment of the existing baseline parking conditions, nor the ability to build a financial model based on comparable evidence of the expected usage and turnover of spaces, revenue raised from Pay and Display and the impact of the likely take up of residents permits for the controlled parking area.
SBC have not considered the potential for their proposals displacing car parking into uncontrolled residential areas around the town. Egglescliffe village is a prime example of an area that is easily accessible to the town centre on foot, making it vulnerable to medium to long stay shopper and employee parking should these motorists wish to avoid paying for their parking.
No direct consultation with the residents in Egglescliffe, or other surrounding areas has taken place. As the more peripheral residential areas are expected to see the greatest impact from displaced car parking the Council should be engaging with residents in these areas to discuss the proposals and potential impacts/mitigation measures. They have NOT.
NO High Street in the UK has seen an upturn in trade as a result of introducing parking charges. This is a stated aim of SBC. Please provide detailed evidence as to why SBC believes this to be the case.
SBC has not been able to demonstrate that it has conducted any meaning full consultation with the stakeholders involved with this proposal. Indeed SBC are the only organisation that believe the scheme will improve Yarm. Members involved in this decision have been provided by false or out of date information.
Please this report briefing from the FSB
FSB one page briefing
In 2010-11 parking charges raised £1.27 billion for local authorities in England. With total parking charges rising to an estimated £8bn per annum, it is unsurprising that the issue of parking topped a recent poll of FSB members, with 73% of respondents indicating that it was a priority issue for the future of independent shops. The cost, supply, location and quality of parking spaces for customers must be addressed to help keep our high streets alive.
Local Authorities’ powers regarding parking charges are set out in legislation. Although there are no limits on the level of local authority parking charges, they are not permitted to deliberately over charge However; the law permits them to retain any surplus from on-street parking that does occur after expenses, and to either carry them forward or spend them on other specified transport related activities
What is the FSB’s view?
The FSB supports the call in Mary Portas’ review of the future of the high street, that Local areas should implement free controlled parking schemes that work for their town centres and we should have a new parking league table. The Government agrees that parking charges have a real impact on the success of the high street, and it is essential that local authorities seriously consider the implications of their decisions on parking charges for the high streets which are such an integral part of our communities.
What can you do?
Local authorities across England (including Police and Fire Authorities) are required to consult the business community about their proposed budgets for the following year. The reference point for England is Section 65 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.
Members should enquire of their local council how the economic difficulties and deficit reduction programme continues to affect their operations and how the situation could affect future operations and services. In particular, has the council increased parking charges, and any plans they may have regarding provision and maintenance of parking spaces.
In December 2012, DCLG consulted on proposed changes to the Code of recommended practice for local authorities on data transparency. These changes will soon require local authorities to publish details of: revenue from off-street parking charges; revenue from on-street parking charges; the number of off-street parking places; the number of on-street parking places; the revenue from parking fines; and the number of free parking spaces available in line with The Portas Review. You can also use this information as the basis for initiating discussions with your local authority.
Facts and Figures
In September 2012, Confused.com published a survey on car parking charges with the following results:
The survey of 2,000 people found 69% intentionally avoided shopping areas with high parking prices
Britons are now spending nearly £8bn a year to park their cars with prices rising 12% last year.
It appears that the cost of parking could be a leading factor in the decline of UK high streets, with 65 per cent of consumers admitting that expensive parking puts them off shopping locally. As many as 65% said they would return to the high street if parking was more affordable
Around 78 per cent of respondents to the survey spend up to £150 a month on parking.
More than half – 57 per cent – of all parking spaces in the UK charge a fee.
Can you provide all of the information you hold regarding which stakeholders/individuals believe that Pay and Display will benefit Yarm?
I would ask that all of the restrictions in the Relevant TRO are scrapped and that the current arrangements remain.