Councillors fight over parking zone charges in Sutton South and Belmont
A row has broken out between borough councillors over controlled parking zone charges for visitors.
Chairman of the Sutton South, Cheam and Belmont Local Committee and Conservative Councillor, Tony Shields, proposed on July 5 that 200 free hours parking for visitors be restored to both Sutton South and Belmont.
Free visitor vouchers have decreased from 200 hours to 50 hours since 2005.
After consultation with residents and using statistics obtained from the parking department he predicted that £7,200 could be allocated to Sutton South and £500 to Belmont to reinstate 200 hours of visitors’ vouchers.
He said: "After years of reduced parking provision for visitors residents are frankly fed up, many had been told that the 200 hours would be ongoing only to find it not to be the case.
"Localism is all about residents choosing the things that matter in their area, for Sutton South parking zone this issue was the third most item of residents concerns after the high level of Council tax and the huge waste of money on Sutton high street.
"We are talking modest sums for a big difference, people who have the need of carers or perhaps have work being carried out on their properties will find the restoration of the 200 hours most useful.
"It is a shame that the two Lib Dem councillors could not bring themselves to support the 200 hours restoration but I suppose it would be hard for them considering the Lib Dem council took away 150 hours in the first place despite Councillor Mary Burstow sending a tweet while the meeting was in progress in favour of my proposal, politics is a funny old business."
He also proposed to reduce administration cost to zero or at least at the same level as currently with 200 hours of vouchers being included in the March 2013 council tax letter.
However, Liberal Democrat Councillors, Mary Burstow, Richard Clifton and Heather Honour felt that no decision could be made without information being provided in writing first.
On her blog, Cheam Councillor Mary Burstow accused Coun Shields and his Conservative colleagues of behaving like "cowboy builders".
She said: "I would never accept a verbal quote from a builder I would always ask for it in writing.
"I treat council tax payers’ money with the same utmost care and respect."
Officers are now undertaking the work to carry out the proposal.