Byron Mayor Simon Richardson says paid parking in Bangalow will go ahead on January 1 despite opposition from the town’s chamber of commerce and claims the council has failed to abide by its own processes.
With paid-parking consultants now investigating site locations in Bangalow, the chamber of commerce is still holding firm its opposition, reminding councillors that the paid parking resolution for the town stipulates guidance group involvement in the process before the rollout.
Chamber of Commerce president Jo Millar believes that with no meetings planned before paid parking is introduced on January 1, 2018, the council cannot proceed.
She said the Bangalow community have been ‘strongly opposed to these plans since 2011’.
But mayor Simon Richardson, who led the paid parking push in the town – maintains that it will roll out, regardless of public sentiment.
The Echo asked the mayor, ‘It appears Council are not representing the wishes of the Bangalow community. Is it your intention to continue on this path?’
He replied, ‘We are scheduled to begin paid parking in Bangalow in January. I have requested a meeting with the guidance group to consider initial priorities for allocating revenues raised.’
He added that ‘Council is soon to complete its engagement strategy that has been created alongside community group representatives.’
Cr Michael Lyon also told The Echo that once a Council project has commenced, councillors cannot rescind the motion, so the project must continue.
Meanwhile Cr Paul Spooner told The Echo that he doesn’t believe that paid parking will destroy the town, yet said that paid parking in Brunswick Heads is unlikely to go ahead owing to the collective effort of that town.
‘The parking meters are paid off in the first year or so. If it doesn’t work, then Council can look at it again,’ he said.
But Ms Millar maintains – like in the Brunswick Heads case – the studies that underpin traffic management did not recommend paid parking and the surveys were flawed.