Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Leader and Cabinet Member with the Economy Portfolio introduced the report of the Group Director of Services (previously circulated) providing an update on the Town Centre Car Parking Offers and requesting that consideration be given to extending the current free car parking offer for a further three months.
The submitted report stated that parking offers had been in place to support the town centre since June 2018; since January 2021 the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) had provided the funding to support parking offers across the Tees Valley for a two-year period; for Darlington this funding enabled a free two-hour parking offer in Council operated car parks and on-street pay and display parking areas in the town centre area; and that the funding would come to an end at the end of December 2022.
It was reported that the number of people using car parking places that had offers in place had returned to pre-covid levels; it was not possible to identify one single intervention that had supported this recovery; and that it was likely to be a mixture of the town centre offer provided by the businesses and the range of events and initiatives to support the town centre delivered by the Council, including the parking offer.
Particular reference was made at the meeting to the Darlington Transport Plan, approved at Minute C207(1) above, and whether the proposals to extend the parking offer contradicted with that Plan and the aspirations contained within it; the affordability of the proposals; the impact of the offer on bus services; and the value for money of the proposals. The Leader and Cabinet Member with the Economy Portfolio responded thereon.
RESOLVED – (a) That £475,000 be released, to cover the costs of extending the parking offer for a further three months, up to 31 March 2023, as detailed in the submitted report.
(b) That authority be delegated to the Assistant Director, Highways and Capital Projects to implement the proposal.
REASONS – (a) To support the ongoing recovery of the town centre.
(b) To have regard to the best use of public funds.
Publication date: 11/11/2022
Date of decision: 08/11/2022
Decided at meeting: 08/11/2022 - Cabinet
Effective from: 19/11/2022