Last week, I wrote about a campaign organised by businesses in Hull City Centre. They are tired of over-zealous parking wardens driving away potential customers, and are appealing to Hull City Council to show some leadership and rein in the wardens.
This story in the Yorkshire Post today highlights the difference between two Yorkshire councils. In Sheffield, the council has listened to traders' concerns and introduced free parking in three of the city's busiest shopping areas. People who just want to 'pop' into a couple of shops and then get on their way can now park for 15 minutes without incurring a charge. An excellent idea that will help boost trade.
In Hull, free parking in council car parks - apart from a Sunday - is not available. You cannot park on a city centre street with incurring a charge - even on a Sunday - and the parking wardens patrol the city's streets determined to raise as much revenue as possible.
The government is encouraging us all to be part of the 'big society.' For this to work, local councils need to remember they exist is serve the public. People who want to shop and businesses who want to trade need to be able to do so with councils helping them; not working against them.
So, top marks to councillors in Sheffield who have listened. As for Hull City Council -it must do better, and with important elections taking place in the city next year, now is a good time to tell the leader, Cllr Carl Minns (email@example.com) and the cabinet member responsible for parking, Mike Ross (firstname.lastname@example.org) you want an end to high parking charges and over-zealous parking wardens. The prospect of people not voting for you and your party usually has the effect of changing politicians' minds.