I have never seen Bangalow as united as it is now in opposition to paid parking, and many residents are angry, with good reason.
I believe we have a right to expect our elected representatives to represent our wishes unless they have some special knowledge we don’t, and in this case they didn’t, the facts are clear: the original motion put to Byron Shire Council on 24 August was to accept the advice of their consultants and not introduce paid parking until the recommended revised parking times in the town centre had been tried and the Guidance (Master Planning) Group brought in to the decision-making process.
Then two councillors moved an amendment to introduce paid parking by January 1 next year with the Guidance Group to be consulted on a range of issues, which could not possibly be covered within the time frame and without a known budget or even a scheduled meeting.
Also the fact that this group is widely representative of Bangalow and strongly opposed to paid parking was apparently not taken into account. The amendment became the motion and then the resolution which was voted for by all but two councillors.
Four of our councillors had been there for less than a year and I suspect pressure was applied, also that they – and perhaps others – did not realise the depth of community feeling.
But by now I think all must know how deeply unpopular this move to paid parking is in Bangalow and I hope they will take whatever opportunity they can to change/rescind the decision and replace it with one which reflects the community’s wishes.
Jenny Coman, Bangalow