BID present over 10k reasons why parking hike is not acceptable

Council propose £2 a day charge

ELGIN BID HAVE prepared a report for Moray Councillors that they hope will bring about a change of mind over the introduction and increases to car parking charges in Elgin.

The city centre group will also present a petition signed by 10,700 which they say demonstrates the strength of feeling against the proposals.

Elgin BID manager Gill Neil says that the pressures facing Moray Council at present are clear and difficult decisions are required – but these decisions should not strike at Elgin City Centre, which makes a “considerable financial contribution” to Moray.

Gill Neil said: “When the proposal was put to the ED&I Committee a few weeks ago to increase parking charges in Elgin city centre, we were pushed to take action to and try to stop this.

“This wasn’t a decision that we took lightly, but concerns over Elgin’s parking charges is consistently raised with us by our business members. The risk that Elgin City Centre businesses could be further disadvantaged and treated differently to all other businesses operating in Moray left us with no option but to take action.

“We organised a petition to gauge opinion and allow people (both businesses and the public) to show the strength of their feelings and put forward alternative proposals. More than 10,700 took the time to sign that petition, showing a huge strength of feeling. Equally important 95% of those who completed the supplementary survey said the increases would change their visit/shopping patterns and 75% of those said they would visit less often.”

Elgin BID say that any difficulties faced by local businesses would have a longer term detrimental effect on the whole of Moray, Gill Neil adding: “When the request for the parking review was presented to the councillors in 2015, it clearly stated that “income generation is not a motive in itself” for carrying out the review.

“The consultants also went on to say that “The Moray Council are committed to effective public and stakeholder engagement to ensure that strategic and policy decisions are fully informed by the issues and concerns of the people it represents”, we hope that is in fact the case and these plans will be stopped while they can be reviewed further.”

Councillors will meet on Monday afternoon when they are expected to present their ideas for savings in what is expected to be the most continuous Budget for many years – with insideMORAY told this week that the proposed measures “will have an impact on every household in Moray”.