Council scraps parking charge plan until 2015

The Labour administration at North Lanarkshire Council has scrapped plans to introduce car parking charges until at least 2015.

At last year’s budget meeting it was announced the council was looking to raise around £300,000 a year by asking motorists to pay up to £2 and £10 a day in its long and short stay car parks respectively.

Council leader Jim McCabe said: “A number of developments have happened since we started the consultation on car parking.

“Firstly, our excellent work with SPT has been ongoing to increase car parking provision at stations in Bellshill, Shotts and Motherwell.

“Secondly, there has been a 26 per cent reduction in capital grant from the Scottish Government. The start up costs for car park charging would be considerable, so we have to prioritise in accordance with that reduced allocation.

“What that means is that this Labour administration will not be introducing car parking charges for the duration of the current Scottish Government budget settlement.

“Charges will therefore not be introduced in 2012/13, 2013/2014 and 2014/15, subject to the Scottish Government’s confirmation of their indicative settlement for the latter two years.“

A further proposal to cut grants to voluntary sector organisations has also been shelved.

Councillor McCabe added: “We are all conscious of the vital role the voluntary sector plays in helping the people of North Lanarkshire.

“Particularly important are the advice services needed to deal with the horrendous impact of the Tory-led coalition’s welfare reforms.

“That is why the Labour administration has decided that we will not be pursuing the four per cent reduction in funding to voluntary organisations amounting to £295,000 so that we can help that crucial work to continue.

“I have no doubt that these decisions are positive for the people and businesses of North Lanarkshire.”