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SCC Leader Pledges Autumn Review Amid Rows Over Country Parking Charges

Published on: 21 May, 2019
Updated on: 21 May, 2019

By Rebecca Curley,

local democracy reporter

Countryside parking charges could be scrapped after Surrey County Council leader Tim Oliver pledged an autumn review on whether they had made a “direct contribution” to budgets.

Cllr Oliver said if the charges could not “demonstrate” an impact on finances for running Surrey’s Countryside Estate he would “review the policy”.

The controversial parking meters were introduced to commons and parks across Surrey in July last year in a bid to generate more income for the estate.

But Cllr Oliver, in Tuesday’s full council meeting, said: “I completely understand the frustration when people believe we are restricting access by seeking contributions toward the cost of maintaining the countryside through car-park charges.

“I have already made a commitment, indeed I made this clear as soon as I became leader, to review those charges through a working group in the autumn when we have full year’s figures.

Cllr Tim Oliver

“If we cannot clearly demonstrate to our residents that those parking charges are directly contributing towards the upkeep of the countryside then we will review the policy.”

A business plan for the charges presented to councillors in September, hoped £378,666 would be raised in income from vehicle-charging for 2018/19. The profit for that financial year was expected to be £113,275.

The annual cost of managing the estate is £2.1million of which SCC contributes £425,000. The aim is for Surrey’s countryside estate to be self-funding and for the council to not be contributing anything.

The charges were introduced at Newlands Corner, Chobham Common, Norbury Park, Ockham Common, Whitmoor Common and Rodborough Common. Campaigns against the charges have been vigorous.

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test One Response to SCC Leader Pledges Autumn Review Amid Rows Over Country Parking Charges

  1. Bob Martin Reply

    May 29, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Don’t be fooled by this generalised comment. A contribution could be £1, could it not? It doesn’t mention drop-in visits, cost of enforcement (or lack of – might as well have an honesty box). He is basically saying if the parking charges contribute to SCC’s income, they can stay, so we will lose again.

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