Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 12, 2016

The Independent View On Potholes And Parking Charges?

Residents will pose questions on potholes and parking charges to West Lancashire’s council leader this week.

The state of West Lancashire’s roads and Labour’s promises over cutting car park charges feature in questions asked on behalf of local residents at this week’s council meeting by Our West Lancashire owllogo. Car park charges feature regularly in comments, seemingly directly linked to the demise of many small retailers. The WLBC accounts include “Trading Operations Trading Services. The Council operates a market in Ormskirk on Thursdays and Saturdays under a market charter, as well as several car parks, and a commercial assets portfolio”. And these trading services are all in profit, car parking +£388,000, commercial assets +£433.000 and market +£8,000.

The council Independents have consistently led calls for wide public access to question decision makers. Recently, a public question time has been introduced at some council meetings, but the Borough’s procedures for allowing resident questioning are much more restricted than many other councils.

Cllr Adrian Owens commented that “The old saying that two heads are better than one make a lot of sense. No one has a monopoly on wisdom and by encouraging residents to ask questions, the council can improve.”

Councillor Owens pointed to a question Our West Lancashire asked on behalf of local resident, Mark Oakley at July’s council meeting. The question was on concerns about the council’s website security status. Following Mr Oakley’s questions the council made improvements which mean that the council’s website now meets the highest security standards. That’s why we again invited residents to suggest questions and on Wednesday we’ll be asking the Council Leader, Ian Moran cllrmoran questions posed by local residents. He’ll be asked questions on the condition of West Lancashire’s roads and what happened to Labour’s promise to Introduce “Free after Three” car parking in Ormskirk”.

Question 1

When Labour were in Opposition, they regularly mocked and ridiculed the ruling Conservative group. One regular suggestion you made was to have a “Free after Three” parking scheme. Now you are in power, you have gone all silent. Why don’t you practice what you preach and introduce a “Free after Three” parking scheme in council operated car parks?

Question 2 (in two parts)

Is the Council Leader concerned to learn that more defect reports were made about West Lancashire’s roads in the first quarter of 2016 than in any other part of Lancashire and more than three times as many as the defect reports made in the best area?

What steps does he intend to take to bring the concerns of West Lancashire’s residents about this unfavourable situation to the county council?

WLR repeatedly asks why WLBC retains the secretly awarded, without means testing of applicants, private home conservation grants in some of the finest housing areas in the borough. Why are they seemingly sacrosanct? Perhaps that’s a question for next time?


  1. Trading accounts should make a surplus. It helps sustain other services and moderate council tax.

    • The trading profit from parking should assist and sustain parking…not be too greedy that parking charges reduce local trade?

      • Agreed. Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

      • Funnily enough the most golden parking egg laid by the WLBC goose is “employment contractual” free all day staff parking, naturally enough mainly at Derby Street. So when I asked why this wasn’t changed I was told WLBC wouldn’t consider it. OK, I said, there’s nothing in the employment contract that stops a parking levy…get your free parking and then pay a weekly £5 levy. That would bring in circa £100,000 for good causes, even towards “free after three”. Not interested…its the elite you see, they need full time employment and free perks too. And then there was the councillor who had two permits, one for each of his two cars, depending on him driving the Audi or the Mercedes, but convenient for shopping too?

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