Coventry City Council has been accused of causing ‘delusional confusion’ over planned parking charges at the War Memorial Park.
The confusion occurred following a publicly broadcast meeting of the City Council’s cabinet, during which Earsldon councillor Allan Andrews posed a question on whether blue badge holders will be able to park their vehicles all-day for free at the park.
Council officers appeared to confirm that blue badge holders would be entitled to all-day free parking.
However, following the public meeting, council officers walked back on their comment in a private email to Cllr Andrews, admitting that parking charges would apply.
Numerous councillors took to Twitter to express their displeasure.
Tim Mayer, a Conservative councillor for Westwood and member of the Licensing and Regulatory Committee, called the public blunder “just another example of delusional confusion.”
While independent councillor Glenn Williams insisted, “Surely an officer wouldn’t have misled the Cabinet Member?!?”
The imposition of parking charges at all three of the War Memorial Park’s car parks was initially met with resistance from park users, though many were reassured by changes to the planned scheme that meant residents will be able to park for free for up to three hours.
After three hours, the planned charges will be:
- £3 for between 3 and 4 hours;
- £4 for between 4 and 5 hours;
- £5 for over five hours; and
- £17.50 for a weekly parking pass.
The City Council say the parking charges are intended to stop the “misuse” of the War Memorial Park’s three car parking areas by people who use them to avoid the high cost of city centre car parks.
Councillor Abdul Salam Khan, the city council deputy leader, explained: “The scheme provides a way of managing any misuse of the War Memorial Park car parks and we felt that three hours was adequate time for visitors to visit and enjoy the park”.
Though, ironically, the City Council’s own documentation for visiting its building at One Friargate suggests to visitors, “Why not save time and money and park for free at War Memorial Park”.
No exact date is known as to when the charges will be implemented, though work is believed to be underway with a short timeline.