Posted by: westlancashirerecord | January 22, 2019

Parking Porkies?

Can the WLBC  “Car park bargain scheme” be hailed a success? Ormskirk town centre businesses and West Lancashire Borough Council are hailing changes to parking charges aimed at encouraging people to spend more time in the town centre a big success.

In April 2018 the Council introduced new simplified parking charges. These mean that for just £1 drivers can now park on a Borough Council-operated town centre car park for up to three hours, except for the Council Offices car park on Derby Street, where all council staff are subsidised by tax payers with free all day gated parking.

This gives the public time to visit shops, browse through Ormskirk Market stalls on Thursdays and Saturdays, take in the latest Chapel Gallery Exhibition, and have a drink or bite to eat with no worries about getting a parking ticket.

The move reflects ongoing discussions with local businesses who felt that the previous pricing structure did not encourage people to stay for extended periods. They suggested the town’s vitality would be helped by low-cost parking for up to a three-hour period.

But is that true? Not according to a press statement by OWLs . Responding to the council’s press release, Derby Ward Councillor Ian Davis said “It’s a pity that the council has chosen to issue a partial picture of what is happening.

“Crucially, they don’t mention that in the eight months since they increased the cost of the cheapest parking options and scrapped free parking at Park Road, more than 55,000 fewer parking tickets were issued with every one of the 8 months down on the same month the previous year.

“Some of those shoppers may have found parking elsewhere in the town but given that footfall for the whole of 2018 was down compared to 2017 then some of them will have been deterred. Several businesses have shut up shop after Christmas while the Government is encouraging councils to offer more free parking. The Borough council made a surplus of £378,000 from Ormskirk shoppers in the last financial year – more of that surplus needs to be spent in the town”.

Income Off Street Pay and Display Parking £587,018. Penalty Charge Notices £68,798. Other Income £0. Expenditure £280,975, Surplus £374,841. Surplus income is used to maintain and enhance car parks. This includes ensuring the lines and signs are legible and that the car park surfaces are free from defects. And presumably some of the surplus is used to maintain the WLBC Derby Street staff free parking bays?  


  1. OWL spokesperson or Chicken Licken? “The Skys falling in” predictable response by the OWLs shows how they put political point scoring ahead of the commercial well being of Ormskirk. When will they get behind the business community instead of constantly running Ormskirk down?
    Start acting responsibly for once – its simply not a credible stance to run everything down as a negative reflex action.

    • You said it yourself John, “political point scoring”, wasn’t that what the Council you control was doing by its announcement? Isn’t anyone else allowed to make political claims? I immediately wondered when I saw the Council statement, when is there an election due?

  2. The ‘political point scoring’ I refer to is the Chicken Licken’s default position of if the Council claim any success, they say the opposite – yes I agree that’s what Opposition Parties are supposed to do but not at the expense of local businesses and the commercial wellbeing of the Town Centre.

    • So, if I understand your argument, local businesses and the commercial wellbeing of Ormskirk are the sole prerogative of the Council, that is the Labour Council, and you don’t accept that any criticism should be made of your political point scoring that might be at the expense of your parking claims because that is off limits?

  3. No, just credit where credit is due.

    • Doesn’t that apply to any local politician or party? Voters might be surprised that your claim for credit is seemingly limited to the party in power, yours?

  4. Nope. Just that I don’t accept the Chicken Licken default position of everything Labour does is bad. Post Christmas is usually bad news time for the high street retail sector, this good news should be welcomed for Ormskirk’s sake.

    • Well, if that is the case, why resort to silly remarks about “Chicken Licken” for people who are voted for and elected to the West Lancashire Borough Council? Doesn’t that demean the political element of our supposedly adult elected membership of the council?

  5. Chicken Licken? What we have here is a classic case of Roald Dahl’s ‘The Twits’ aka Mr and Mrs Hodson. There’s some funny moments in that book. Mrs. Twit removes her glass eye and drops it in his beer mug while he isn’t looking. It isn’t until he empties said mug that he sees the eye sitting in there, startling him something awful. Mrs. Twit laughs, gloating that this proves she is always watching him.

    And then there’s this bit. Mrs. Twit places worms from the garden in cooked spaghetti, which Mr. Twit eats, being re-assured by Mrs. Twit that it is merely a new kind called “Squiggly Spaghetti” she has recently bought. When he has eaten it, Mrs. Twit joyfully reveals the truth, to Mr. Twit’s horror and disgust.

    We could have fun all day with literary references couldn’t we!

    • I believe this is the funniest, and most appropriate, comment ever made on WLR. It is entirely reasonable for anyone, such as the Ormskirk Idiot, to respond to the Cllrs Mr and Mrs Hodson in such literary terms. And, as stated, we could have fun all day with literary references. Why not? Bring them on!

  6. I’m all for literary references, especially when you can make them relevant to a person rather than a pseudonym, but alas self named ‘Ormskirk Idiot’ has me at a disadvantage on that score, obviously wants to sling witticisms from a hidey hole. It would be unfair to the many Trolls mentioned in literary references throughout history and therefore not specific to this incognito operator to label O.I as such. Chicken Licken btw has references going back far longer than Roald Dahl, some 250 years and so should be familiar to O.I.

    • It’s good to hear that you are all for literary references John, and to take them in good humour, as they should be. Whoever the “Ormskirk Idiot” is, and I don’t know myself, but allowing humour as comments is fine on this website. I doubt we have trolls here, but if there are they won’t last long. But since you raised the Chicken Licken subject you won’t be too upset by comparisons with other harmless but amusing references, will you?

  7. Being in the world of politics certainly requires a sense of humour!

    • And of that John, I’m sure you have an abundance. As I have.

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