Posted by: westlancashirerecord | May 1, 2017

Secret Democratic Processes On Parking

Readers might recall how one of those secret conclave meetings was held by the WLBC in January this year. As it apparently involved a secret commercial deal the Labour council cabinet excluded the public and press from the meeting. The irony of such council behaviour, that councillors and officers all receive free parking and so have a financial interest in what they would be discussing, might have been missed. Surely there should be a “Public Interest Test” applied in these deals so as to guarantee transparency and accountability, to promote public understanding and to safeguard democratic processes? Apparently not!

So from the little we know they then agreed to negotiations with a private company, Bemrose Mobile, to install Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras on the Ormskirk Town centre council car parks. The Conservatives did not oppose these plans, probably because they would do the same anyway, they’ve done it with Serco!

But there was an  OWL petition, and Ormskirk and other borough residents who signed it called on the council to cease all negotiations with private sector providers to install automatic number plate recognition enforcement cameras on Ormskirk’s car parks.

OWLs write “Last week, Our West Lancashire presented a 306-name petition  to the Mayor at a full meeting of councillors. Amazingly, a senior Labour councillor questioned your right as residents to sign such a petition, such is the low regard in which some councillors hold public opinion. Conservatives were silent as they have been throughout.

“The council is now required to provide a response and we will update you further then. Whatever the council response, it is clear that the installation of such cameras would deter a proportion of shoppers from coming to our town the very last thing we need at this time. We will continue to press on this matter. In the meantime, you may wish to let the candidates for the elections this week know of your opinion on this”.

Just to be clear, it is claimed that “an informed and involved public helps to promote good decision making by public bodies, but those bodies may also need space and time in which to fully consider their policy options, to enable them to reach an impartial and appropriate decision, away from public interference”. How impartial on parking is a council whose policy on parking is free for members and officers but for cameras to be aimed at the public for search and fine?


Responses

  1. Is it such a bad thing to make parking in Ormskirk easier for the residents of West Lancs?

    • You seriously think it’s about making parking easier? You know, as a councillor, that it’s about a council/business making money at the expense of the public. Read the Champion letters today, a woman fined £100 for over parking, having lost some of her time finding a parking spot, and that’s rip off. Yet every council employee gets free parking as a job perk, no £100 fines for them. It’s a disgrace that a fine is ten times per minute of the over stay period. It’s shameful from a party that wanted “free after three” not so long ago!


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