REDUCED off-street car parking charges were rubber-stamped by Worthing Borough Council last week despite every Lib Dem councillor refusing to support the plans.
The council will charge £1 per hour in the town centre’s multi-storeys when the NCP contract ends in April, as proposed by the joint strategic committee at the start of the month.
The decision had to be ratified by the full council and was agreed, with the Conservative majority joined by UKIP in support.
Not a single Lib Dem councillor, however, voted in favour of the plans.
Presenting the proposal, leader Paul Yallop said: “I hope the public will spend more time enjoying Worthing, rather than worrying about parking. It’s a win-win.”
In a rare move, Cllr Yallop requested each member’s vote to be recorded by name, rather than the traditional show of hands.
Christine Brown, Norah Fisher, David Potter, Lib Dem leader Alan Rice, Keith Sunderland and Vicky Taylor voted against the proposal.
David Chapman, Michael Donin and Hazel Thorpe abstained, while mayor Bob Smytherman also abstained due to his position.
Cllr Rice highlighted his party’s concerns over the amount of money being set aside to cover potential losses should the scheme be unsuccessful – quoted in a report as being up to £569,000.
He said: “There is no need to bring car parking in house. Bringing it in is political.
“We should have retained tariff control, which does not necessarily mean NCP retains the contract.”
For the full story, see the Worthing Herald, out Tuesday, December 24.