Yesterday the Council held is bi-monthly full Council meeting.
A lengthy debate took place on parking in the City following a deputation from residents of Ocean Village.
The broad view amongst Councillors of all parties was that John Prescott's restrictive planning rules were causing huge parking problems in City. The Government sets maximum limits on numbers of car parking spaces that can be provided for new developments. The Council's local planning plan then gold plates these rules by restricting the numbers of places even further where developments are close to the City centre or on major bus routes.
This is why developments such as the new flats in Shirley Road provide about 10 spaces for fifty or sixty flats.
The objective is to try to drive people out of their cars. The reality however is that people will not give up their cars and park on the roads. It is now a major battle in parts of the City to park outside your own house.
Over the next 20 years over 16,000 new properties are planned to be built in the City and the problem will get worse and worse.
The Council has decided to have a enquiry (an enquiry was held last year, 50 people turned up and none of the actions have been taken up by the Administration!) This enquiry will I hope have more success. I made the point that Council needs to review it's planning plan to ensure that we require the maximum numbers of spaces for new developments.
Safety in the City Parks
I asked that the Council do more to improve safety in the City Centre parks. Lighting is terrible in the parks and needs improving. We could also install CCTV and have security patrols.
Unfortuately the Administration wouldn't agree to these things on grounds of cost. My own view from researching the costs is that big improvements could be made for relatively small sums of money.
We should be doing everything we can to keep people safe at night and I will come back to the matter when the Council sets its budget for next year.