Agenda item

To receive the report of the Planning & Economy Manager




That the Notice of Motion be rejected.



Councillor Hutchings declared a personal interest – the owner of a business in Holsworthy.



Councillor McGeough presented his following Notice of Motion which had been referred to this Committee by Full Council on 22 June 2020:


“Given the recent pandemic and huge financial strain it has put on our local business owners, I would like to see TDC support our businesses to encourage footfall back to their premises in the town centres.  We can help towards this by continuing free parking for two months, thus given them a small support cushion through this enabling phase of opening business back up.”


When presenting this item, the Planning & Economy Manager referred Members to the tables within the report, which summarised the car park takings in 2019/20 and reflected the loss of income to the Council should  Members be minded to approve free car parking.


The Committee were made aware of a Petition received for two months free parking.  The results of this meeting to be sent to the Petitioner.


This matter had been debated at length, during which the following suggestions/concerns were raised:


Members expressed strong support for local businesses, but had concerns as to the benefits they would receive from proposed free parking - residents would use the car parks.


Those without cars would not benefit.


To look at two hours free parking in the main towns.  Councillor McGeough stated he had asked for this option to be included in the recommendations, but had been advised by the Senior Solicitor that the Notice of Motion had been approved by Full Council and therefore could not be amended.   In accordance with the Constitution any amendments would need to be voted upon at Full Council.


Duration of free car parking – various suggestions were put forward such as – two months, six months to start and then to review the situation, for the duration of the term of the present Councillors and forever.


To increase the tariffs for longer stay parking – the Planning & Economy Manager explained the process involved in changes to the Street Parking Orders.


To delay free parking until October to December which would then tie in with Bideford Town Council who subsidise free parking during the weekends of December.   Also the community lacks confidence at the present time re going out  – it will be mainly tourists using the car parks.


Two hours free parking from 4pm.


It became evident during the debate that most Members were in support of two hours free parking, but the Notice of Motion did not stipulate times or duration, therefore, as advised, cannot be amended.


Councillor Christie referred to when all day free parking had been tried previously, and when the Chamber of Commerce had acknowledged that car parks were full with traders and employees. He also mentioned the additional loss of income to the Authority and the issue with only the main towns benefitting.


The Interim Head of Paid Service advised that should Members be minded to approve the Notice of Motion, it would need Full Council approval to change the budget.


It was proposed by Councillor Hutchings, seconded by Councillor Dart that two hours free parking for two months be agreed.  In line with legal advice given, no vote was taken.


During the debate it was reiterated by the Senior Solicitor and the Interim Head of Paid Service that should Members wish to amend the Notice of Motion, Full Council approval would be required.  Reference was made to the Constitution which sets out the procedures to be followed.  


If Members rejected this Notice of Motion, a revised Notice could be submitted and presented to the Extraordinary Full Council meeting scheduled for 27 July - Members will at that meeting decide if the Motion goes forward to Community & Resources Committee.  If agreed a report would then be prepared based on the revised Motion. The Chair of Community & Resources Committee and the Chair of Council agreed to Special meetings being held for this item.   


The Interim Head of Paid Service highlighted the importance of having accurate wording in a revised Notice of Motion.


It was proposed by Councillor McGeough, seconded by Councillor Bushby that the Notice of Motion be approved.


A recorded vote was taken.







Brenton, D




Bright, C




Bushby, D




Christie, P



Dart, A



Hicks, R



Hutchings, J



James, K



Laws, N




Lock, R



McGeough, D




Wiseman, R











(Vote:  for 5, Against 6)


The Motion was lost.





That the Notice of Motion be rejected.



Supporting documents: