Brent Council to hike visitor parking charges by 200pc despite opposition from residents

Visitor parking charges in Brent will increase in October (Photo: PA/Jonathan Brady)

Visitor parking charges in Brent will increase in October (Photo: PA/Jonathan Brady) - Credit: PA WIRE

Brent Council is to hike visitor parking charges by 200 per cent despite a public consultation showing that 68 per cent of respondents oppose the plans.

Cllr Eleanor Southwood

Cllr Eleanor Southwood - Credit: Archant

Next week the town hall is expected to approve the increase which is predicted to almost double their annual income from £676,679 to £1.3million.

The news will anger residents after the council initially scrapped the plans in February following a public outcry.

Announcing the u-turn then it said it would carry out a public consultation before deciding whether to increase the daily £1.50 charge to £4.50.

However a report shows it plans to bring in the increase in October despite the outcome of this latest public consultation.

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Under the plans the cost of an annual visitor permit will also surge from £110 to £165, a rise of 50 per cent.

The council have axed plans for a special permit for carers which would have cost £165 a year and have helped the most vulnerable residents while plans to charge an additional £25 for diesel cars have been postponed until October 2018.

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Tony Antonio MBE, chair of Willesden Residents and Traders, has accused the council of being undemocratic.

He said: “What is the point of them asking the public for their opinion if it will be ignored regardless?

“These changes will have a detrimental effect on the borough’s most vulnerable people like the elderly who rely on people visiting them.

“By increasing the charges wit will stop some people visiting elderly friends and relatives because they can’t afford the cost.

“The council should be ashamed. There is no democracy in Brent.”

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, the lead environment councillor at Brent Council, said the price increases will ensure parking spaces are available for residents and traders and also encourage people to use public transport more.

She added: “Having listened to feedback from well over 3,000 residents, the proposals also include a recommendation to safeguard the popular Visitor Household Permit. This meets the same needs as the ‘Carer’s permit’ which had been proposed as an alternative. People providing care and support will continue to be able to park using the Visitor Household permit belonging to the person they are caring for.

“Increasing parking charges is never going to be popular – but residents have told us that they want clean air, less traffic congestion and the ability to park.”

Related links: Brent Council axe plans to hike visitor parking charges by 200 per centVisitor parking in Brent could be hiked by 200pc to raise £795k extra for the council

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