Stop Press:Council voted unanimously against the increase at last night's meeting (4/6/12). It was stated that the proposal was just one of many that were suggested at a brainstorming meeting to find ways to raise additional funds and yet although it hadn't been voted on by Councillors somehow appeared in the draft budget. Why? It was also revealed that such a move would have raised about $350,000. But what would have happened to our Village? Empty shops and no-one using the parking stations in Manly I suspect while Warringah Mall benefits. An ill conceived idea that should never have seen the light of day.
Background to story 23 May 2012:
Residents and local businesses are alarmed by the Council’s proposal to remove the 2 hour free parking period in the four parking stations in Manly’s CBD. This proposal is part of the Council’s draft budget for 2012-13 hidden on page 255 of the 288 page Community Strategic Plan. The changes would include:
· $1 fee for the first hour
· $2 fee for the second hour
· Increase in night charges after 7pm to $16 for 3 hours
The Chamber of Commerce, who were not consulted on the proposed changes, has urged the council to scrap the plan due to the potentially disastrous affect it could have on local businesses. Currently, the majority of vehicles using the car parks stay for less than 2 hours. It has been suggested that an increase in fees would prompt shoppers and diners to go elsewhere.
These carparks were funded by commercial levies on local businesses. Does the council therefore have the right to start charging for something that has already been paid for?
This proposal could be the final nail in the coffin for our Village shopping area.
What impact would such a change have on you? Will it change your behaviour in visiting Manly?
Please leave your comment below so that we can include in a submission to council.
UPDATE: 25/5/12 ....Mayor Jean Hay announces that two hour free parking to remain. Question has to be asked: How did this fundamentally important matter get into the draft budget, on her watch, in the first place?
Hold onto your parking ticket - it's not over yet! Manly Daily reported (May 26) that Manly Council is NOW considering a scheme that would require people to get a voucher from local shop to entitle them to 2 hours free parking. Oh brother! Why can't the Council, and the Mayor, get it? If you want Manly Village to survive (let alone thrive) we must compete with other local shopping areas that provide 3 hours free parking, no proof of purchase, no vouchers or bar-code scans, just free parking.
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.