Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Brighton & Hove Blues and Reds unite: it’s a parking giveaway for Christmas motorists in a triumph for ‘policy based evidence’

Yesterday’s meeting at Hove Town Hall, of the Brighton and Hove City Council Policy and Resources Urgency Sub-Committee (are you still with me?), passed a motion submitted by the city's combined Labour and Conservative opposition designed to provide free parking at selected council car parks on Saturdays in the run-up to Christmas. The meeting started with a series of procedural wrangles about an amendment snuck in to make the deal permanent in the London road car park. This amendment was itself parked, due to a lack of evidence about the potential financial impact.

Oh yes, evidence....the 'evidence' provided by Cllr. Norman for the Blue team and Cllr. Morgan, leader of Brighton’s Red team, consisted, in both cases, of the following: a Google list of towns which offer free parking in the run up to Christmas. Towns like Plymouth, Lancaster and Morecombe. Towns which would kill to have Brighton's 'problem' of over 8 million visitors a year.

Opposing the motion, Jason Kitcat, leader of the Green administration, reeled off a series of facts to counter the assertions from the Red and Blue side. But, as a Minority administration faced with populism masquerading as policy, it didn't matter. As Cllr. Kitcat commented, it was a triumph for ‘policy based evidence.’

And it's business as usual in today's Argus with its front page ''Christmas gift for shoppers.' But no presents for you if you arrive by bike, on foot or on a bus. Merry Christmas!

13.11.13 com Argus IMG_20131113_090531

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