Conservatives have accused the Green Administration of Brighton & Hove City Council of scaremongering and putting out misleading information about free Christmas parking.
At last month’s Full Council meeting, a Conservative Group proposal to offer free parking at 5 Council-run car parks in the run up to Christmas was agreed following backing from the Labour Group. The Green Adminisration voted against the proposal.
In a report being taken to a special Council Policy & Resources Committee meeting next Tuesday (12th November) to agree the details of the package, the Green Administration claims that offering free parking will cost £112,000 in lost revenue for the Council and will risk “attracting excessive traffic and congestion”.
Conservative Finance Spokesperson, Cllr. Ann Norman, said: “I’m afraid that I take these figures from the Greens with a hefty pinch of salt! At the Council meeting when this was discussed they tried to claim it would cost up to £300k. Now they have revised that down to £112k but, in our view that figure is still highly misleading. The Greens claim that free parking could risk reputational damage due to congestion and poor visitor experience. However I am happy to be guided by our local business people who all tell me that our proposals will give their trade a great boost in the period leading up to Christmas. The Green Administration has hiked up parking charges so much in the last couple of years and this gesture would go a small way towards ridding the city of its ‘rip off parking’ tag”
Group Transport Spokesman, Cllr. Graham Cox added: “This report simply does not stack up. On the one hand the Greens are arguing that the city will be inundated with extra cars lured by the offer of free parking whilst at the same time they are saying that the Council will lose revenue because the car parks and on-street bays that aren’t free of charge will be empty. I’m afraid that they can’t have it both ways. The free parking offer is a simple yet effective statement that this city is open for business and backs its independent local traders.”