Disappointment at council's decision to lease out public parking bays

Councillors Ray Farmer and Trevor Snaith

Councillors Ray Farmer and Trevor Snaith

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

PARKING bays available to parents and residents have been reduced next to a Loudwater park after a council has leased out spaces to businesses.

Wycombe District Council (WDC) has leased out 65 of its 130 spaces at its car park next to the Kingsmead recreation ground to the owners of Kingsmead Business Park.

Some parents of pupils at Loudwater Combined School have had to park elsewhere for the morning school run and there have been concerns raised that the wider public was not consulted on the decision.

Trevor Snaith, district councillor for Ryemead, said: "Residents have been up in arms. Myself and Cllr Ray Farmer are disgusted at the cavalier attitude of WDC.

"Yet again WDC are giving away public assets without due consideration of needs of local residents and other factors at play."

Headteacher Clare Cunnington from Loudwater Combined School said it has had a huge impact on parents as there is limited room to park.

She said: "That is where they have been used to parking to walk along the road and drop off their children safely.

"They are now having to park on the road and further away, which makes their lives difficult."

Mrs Cunnington said the worst thing is there was no consultation about the change and although there was no formal agreement with WDC, the council did not seem to have taken the time to see who uses the car park.

She said: "The health and safety of the children really doesn't seem to have been taken into account."

Spokesman for WDC, Nick Sykes, said: "We are aware of the informal use made of the car park by others and specifically as a drop-off/collection point by parents of children attending the local school.

"As far as our records show, there is no agreement with the school for such use as part of the School Travel Plan, however."

He said the council recognised the spaces were under utilised for much of the time and the council were approached by the owners of Kingsmead Business Park to lease spaces.

He said this was considered feasible as the car park was empty during core business hours and letting of the space would support the council’s objectives for economic development by making sure businesses stayed in the area.

Mr Sykes also said: "The council is seeking ways to make better use of its assets and so help the burden on council tax payers. By letting part of the business park to use the car park and so generating an income to the council, this is considered a compatible use alongside those using the recreation ground."

Terms have been agreed for the business park to take half the car park between Monday to Friday between 7am to 6pm. This agreement is for five years with council lease break options.

He added: "Given we were still making provision to continue wider public use on part of the car park, we did not consider the need to consult more widely."

Comments (13)

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10:54pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Mum of child at Loudwater school says...

Is this just not a back door approach by the council and local businesses to deprive locals of yet more free parking. How can a public car park become a Private car park overnight ?
Is this just not a back door approach by the council and local businesses to deprive locals of yet more free parking. How can a public car park become a Private car park overnight ? Mum of child at Loudwater school
  • Score: 16

11:30pm Fri 11 Jul 14

yog says...

Presumably the Council would rather parents park in Kingsmead Road outside the school, clog up the road and make it unsafe to cross. Why are officers making these decisions and not Councillors anyway? Who is running Wycombe District Council?
Presumably the Council would rather parents park in Kingsmead Road outside the school, clog up the road and make it unsafe to cross. Why are officers making these decisions and not Councillors anyway? Who is running Wycombe District Council? yog
  • Score: 13

2:46pm Sat 12 Jul 14

Carmadchris says...

Optiom 1, leave the car park as is,
Parents can use the car park for 5 minutes
The employees of the business Park will park on kingsmeand road all day
Option 2,
The employees park in the public car park, as they are entitled to do, all day, the council recieves no money.
Option 3, the coucil puts pay and display in place and we all loose.

Seems genus to take a car park, thet it free for all to park in, is always empty and then get a business to pay you for its use! The business could have just told employees to park there, what is the difference other than this generates revenue?

Wonder how many of those kids live within a mile of the school and should be walked in?
Optiom 1, leave the car park as is, Parents can use the car park for 5 minutes The employees of the business Park will park on kingsmeand road all day Option 2, The employees park in the public car park, as they are entitled to do, all day, the council recieves no money. Option 3, the coucil puts pay and display in place and we all loose. Seems genus to take a car park, thet it free for all to park in, is always empty and then get a business to pay you for its use! The business could have just told employees to park there, what is the difference other than this generates revenue? Wonder how many of those kids live within a mile of the school and should be walked in? Carmadchris
  • Score: -2

11:32pm Sat 12 Jul 14

DawesJack says...

yog wrote:
Presumably the Council would rather parents park in Kingsmead Road outside the school, clog up the road and make it unsafe to cross. Why are officers making these decisions and not Councillors anyway? Who is running Wycombe District Council?
Thankfully, not the Lib Dems, who should have been to grips with plans and also School Travel Plan arrangements. Clearly caught unawares!!
[quote][p][bold]yog[/bold] wrote: Presumably the Council would rather parents park in Kingsmead Road outside the school, clog up the road and make it unsafe to cross. Why are officers making these decisions and not Councillors anyway? Who is running Wycombe District Council?[/p][/quote]Thankfully, not the Lib Dems, who should have been to grips with plans and also School Travel Plan arrangements. Clearly caught unawares!! DawesJack
  • Score: 7

8:20am Mon 14 Jul 14

townraider says...

I think we have a tory run council whose one aim is to sell off anything ... tories let officers in wdc make bad decisions and hide when found out.... lib dems have a record in wycombe of fighting for what's right and put comunity need ahead of a quick profit
I think we have a tory run council whose one aim is to sell off anything ... tories let officers in wdc make bad decisions and hide when found out.... lib dems have a record in wycombe of fighting for what's right and put comunity need ahead of a quick profit townraider
  • Score: 2

8:20am Mon 14 Jul 14

townraider says...

I think we have a tory run council whose one aim is to sell off anything ... tories let officers in wdc make bad decisions and hide when found out
I think we have a tory run council whose one aim is to sell off anything ... tories let officers in wdc make bad decisions and hide when found out townraider
  • Score: 2

9:19am Mon 14 Jul 14

Malc London says...

Seems a sensible arrangement to give workers somewhere to park.
Far better use than having it as a 5 minute dropping off point.

Kids should walk to school. This obsession with having to drop kids off at the school gates is why kids are so unfit and lazy.
Seems a sensible arrangement to give workers somewhere to park. Far better use than having it as a 5 minute dropping off point. Kids should walk to school. This obsession with having to drop kids off at the school gates is why kids are so unfit and lazy. Malc London
  • Score: -1

12:06pm Mon 14 Jul 14

DawesJack says...

townraider wrote:
I think we have a tory run council whose one aim is to sell off anything ... tories let officers in wdc make bad decisions and hide when found out.... lib dems have a record in wycombe of fighting for what's right and put comunity need ahead of a quick profit
We have a Lib Dem government which has failed in austerity measures, so that Councils have to become leaner and generate more income. Lib Dems have a record of running campaigns just before elections. In this instance, the councillors were caught flat footed, because they were not in the loop and did not ensure formal arrangements for the School Travel Plan. An empty car park needs to be utilised or it could be seen as a development opportunity. Officers at WDC do a great job and there are channels to pusue if they don't. That does not include bullying them on this website.
[quote][p][bold]townraider[/bold] wrote: I think we have a tory run council whose one aim is to sell off anything ... tories let officers in wdc make bad decisions and hide when found out.... lib dems have a record in wycombe of fighting for what's right and put comunity need ahead of a quick profit[/p][/quote]We have a Lib Dem government which has failed in austerity measures, so that Councils have to become leaner and generate more income. Lib Dems have a record of running campaigns just before elections. In this instance, the councillors were caught flat footed, because they were not in the loop and did not ensure formal arrangements for the School Travel Plan. An empty car park needs to be utilised or it could be seen as a development opportunity. Officers at WDC do a great job and there are channels to pusue if they don't. That does not include bullying them on this website. DawesJack
  • Score: -9

8:41am Tue 15 Jul 14

martinllah says...

This car park is not always empty . At weekends when the park is being used for rugby events it is hugely inadequate for the purpose it is there for, to give parking to the park users.
If during the week it is 'mostly empty' i applaud the school parents for using it and not blocking the road.(As the school has been asking them to do for years)
If it was 'mostly empty 'why was there any need to lease part of it to the business park there was space there for them to use it anyway. (There seems to be plenty of spare room around the business park that could be turned into parking)
This is purely a revenue raising stunt from the council with no thought to the impact on the local residents as usual.
This car park is not always empty . At weekends when the park is being used for rugby events it is hugely inadequate for the purpose it is there for, to give parking to the park users. If during the week it is 'mostly empty' i applaud the school parents for using it and not blocking the road.(As the school has been asking them to do for years) If it was 'mostly empty 'why was there any need to lease part of it to the business park there was space there for them to use it anyway. (There seems to be plenty of spare room around the business park that could be turned into parking) This is purely a revenue raising stunt from the council with no thought to the impact on the local residents as usual. martinllah
  • Score: 7

10:47am Tue 15 Jul 14

DawesJack says...

The business park provides employment and has behaved ethically by paying for spaces for its employees. They are not just freeloading on Council property. The Council is there in the best interests of all of us local taxpayers. This scheme shows that everyone is a winner and arrangements can be made between Rugby and Business Park for week-ends. Such arrangements exist all over Wycombe. Maybe the Business Park would sponsor rugby? But do send a good negotiator from Rugby not councillors ranting.
The business park provides employment and has behaved ethically by paying for spaces for its employees. They are not just freeloading on Council property. The Council is there in the best interests of all of us local taxpayers. This scheme shows that everyone is a winner and arrangements can be made between Rugby and Business Park for week-ends. Such arrangements exist all over Wycombe. Maybe the Business Park would sponsor rugby? But do send a good negotiator from Rugby not councillors ranting. DawesJack
  • Score: 3

8:00pm Wed 16 Jul 14

bluefeet says...

I'm a bit confused. Do these parents seriously expect the car park to be left free for them ALL DAY just so they can do a 5 min pick up & drop off at either end of the school day? And the employees should be expected to park on the road ALL DAY just so parents can use the car park for 5 mins? Seriously?
I'm a bit confused. Do these parents seriously expect the car park to be left free for them ALL DAY just so they can do a 5 min pick up & drop off at either end of the school day? And the employees should be expected to park on the road ALL DAY just so parents can use the car park for 5 mins? Seriously? bluefeet
  • Score: 9

3:04pm Mon 21 Jul 14

@clarkee1973 says...

Rather than jumping on the bandwagon:
Are the council giving away the parking or leasing out the spaces and receiving rent?
Does the wider economic benefit of Businesses locating in High Wycombe and then paying Business Rates which must be some of the most expensive in the district and thus raises revenue?
The on street parking is currently free for everyone and there are also numerous parking spaces still available for use during the week and the whole car park at weekends?
This is also very poor reporting from the Bucks Free Press giving a one sided report with no comment from either the Landlords of the Kingsmead Business Park or their agents?
Grumpy pictures of local councillors who are elected by residents not businesses and one sided reporting is very poor and lazy journalism.
How about raising the positives like increasing confidence and job creation in the town?
Rather than jumping on the bandwagon: Are the council giving away the parking or leasing out the spaces and receiving rent? Does the wider economic benefit of Businesses locating in High Wycombe and then paying Business Rates which must be some of the most expensive in the district and thus raises revenue? The on street parking is currently free for everyone and there are also numerous parking spaces still available for use during the week and the whole car park at weekends? This is also very poor reporting from the Bucks Free Press giving a one sided report with no comment from either the Landlords of the Kingsmead Business Park or their agents? Grumpy pictures of local councillors who are elected by residents not businesses and one sided reporting is very poor and lazy journalism. How about raising the positives like increasing confidence and job creation in the town? @clarkee1973
  • Score: 1

11:21pm Fri 25 Jul 14

DawesJack says...

@clarkee1973 wrote:
Rather than jumping on the bandwagon: Are the council giving away the parking or leasing out the spaces and receiving rent? Does the wider economic benefit of Businesses locating in High Wycombe and then paying Business Rates which must be some of the most expensive in the district and thus raises revenue? The on street parking is currently free for everyone and there are also numerous parking spaces still available for use during the week and the whole car park at weekends? This is also very poor reporting from the Bucks Free Press giving a one sided report with no comment from either the Landlords of the Kingsmead Business Park or their agents? Grumpy pictures of local councillors who are elected by residents not businesses and one sided reporting is very poor and lazy journalism. How about raising the positives like increasing confidence and job creation in the town?
Yes, it is an example of Lib Dems low in the polls clutching at straws. The Free Press need to get out of the habit of providing space to the ex- Mayor. These are not grumpy pictures though, they always look like that in the hope of getting their own way!
[quote][p][bold]@clarkee1973[/bold] wrote: Rather than jumping on the bandwagon: Are the council giving away the parking or leasing out the spaces and receiving rent? Does the wider economic benefit of Businesses locating in High Wycombe and then paying Business Rates which must be some of the most expensive in the district and thus raises revenue? The on street parking is currently free for everyone and there are also numerous parking spaces still available for use during the week and the whole car park at weekends? This is also very poor reporting from the Bucks Free Press giving a one sided report with no comment from either the Landlords of the Kingsmead Business Park or their agents? Grumpy pictures of local councillors who are elected by residents not businesses and one sided reporting is very poor and lazy journalism. How about raising the positives like increasing confidence and job creation in the town?[/p][/quote]Yes, it is an example of Lib Dems low in the polls clutching at straws. The Free Press need to get out of the habit of providing space to the ex- Mayor. These are not grumpy pictures though, they always look like that in the hope of getting their own way! DawesJack
  • Score: 0

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