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Agenda and minutes
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Venue: Multi-Locational Meeting - Penallta House and Via Microsoft Teams. View directions
Contact: Sharon Hughes
Recording, Filming and Voting Arrangements.
The Chair reminded those present that the meeting was being live-streamed and recorded and would be made available following the meeting via the Council’s website – Click Here to View Members were advised that voting on decisions would be taken via Microsoft Forms.
Apologies for absence.
Declarations of Interest.
Councillors and Officers are reminded of their personal responsibility to declare any personal and/or prejudicial interest(s) in respect of any item of business on this agenda in accordance with the Local Government Act 2000, the Council’s Constitution and the Code of Conduct for both Councillors and Officers.
There were no declarations of interest received at the commencement or during the course of the meeting.
Cath Forbes-Thompson (Scrutiny Manager) presented the report, which informed the Joint Scrutiny Committee of the findings of the Joint Task and Finish Group that was established to review car parks managed by Caerphilly County Borough Council. The Scrutiny Committee were asked to consider a number of recommendations made by the Task and Finish Group as set out in Sections 3.2 to 3.6 of the report and determine its recommendations to Cabinet ahead of its meeting on 21st September 2022.
The Joint Scrutiny Committee were advised of the extensive research and work carried out to inform the findings of the Task and Finish Group, which had undergone three iterations and had been specifically asked to consider car parking charges that were suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Joint Scrutiny noted details of the members of the Task and Finish Group which were listed at Sections 5.2 and 5.3 of the report, together with the Group’s terms of reference and methodology which were detailed in the report at Section 5.4 and agreed “To review town centre car parking charges in view of the effects of the pandemic on the high street economy”. The Group agreed that the focus would be on the main towns in the county borough, namely Bargoed, Blackwood, Caerphilly, Newbridge, Risca and Ystrad Mynach.
When the Group met, they agreed to review available research, including reports published by Welsh Government containing information on car parking strategies, and details of these were listed in the report. The Group also reviewed previous reports produced by the previous iterations of the Car Park Task and Finish Group to see previous recommendations and work that had been carried out to date.
The Task and Finish Group agreed to carry out a public survey of visitors to the main town centres in the county borough and also agreed a number of questions to be put to the business community in the town centres. The survey was carried out and shared via social media and by members of the Task and Finish Group, and a very good response to the survey was received, with a total of 1545 responses received. The Group also received narrative comments on individual experiences since car parking charges were suspended.
A number of questions were also developed by the Group which were shared through a separate business survey that was distributed by the Business and Enterprise Renewal Team. The results of these surveys were set out in Section 5 of the report.
The Group also reviewed the income and costs associated with running the car parks, and details of these were set out at Section 5.8 of the report. It was noted that these figures reflected the income that was generated before charging was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In terms of the conclusions of the Group, they agreed that their priority was to ensure that car parks spaces are available for visitors to the town centres when they are needed. Members therefore suggested two options for the ... view the full minutes text for item 3.