Councillors at last Thursday's Cheshire East Highways and Transport Committee gave the go ahead to introduce charges on almost all Borough-owned car parks.
Audlem was well represented at the meeting which took place in Macclesfield. Statements were made by Ward Councillor Rachel Bailey, Geoff Seddon on behalf of the Parish Council and Michael Willcocks on behalf of the Medical Practice highlighting why introducing charges were inappropriate for Audlem . Brian Bugeja, representing the SAFE group, asked a question which raised a number of issues affecting Audlem. They were supported by three members of the SAFE group.
The outcome of the decisions, as they affect Audlem are:
A pay and display machine will be sited in the car park. Users will be able to pay by cash, card or phone with the following charges from 8.00 am to 3.00 pm.
-up to ½ hour – 30p (this was agreed as an amendment to the original proposal)
-½ hour – 1 hour – 60p
-1 – 2 hours -£1.00
-2 – 3 hours – £1.50
-3 – 4 hours – £2.10
-4 – 6 hours – £3.00
-6 – 10 hours – £3.40
Note that the charges only apply until 3.00 pm – this is under Cheshire East's 'Free after 3' initiative.
Alternatively, a quarterly permit would cost £163.00 and an annual permit £490.00. An amendment to provide monthly permits was also agreed.
A further amendment was agreed, subject to further discussion by Councillors, that each permit could be used in all Borough-owned car parks throughout Cheshire East.
Originally, these charges were only to apply from Monday to Saturday. However, a proposal to introduce these charges on Sundays as well was approved.
Like all town and parish councils, Audlem Parish Council will have the opportunity to discuss the outcome of the decisions with Cheshire East officers to see whether alternative arrangements can be made.