Report of the Director of Open Spaces.
The Committee considered a report of the Director of Open Spaces on the introduction of Car Parking Charges at Epping Forest Car Parks. The Director of Open Spaces introduced the report by explaining the reasons for the recommended proposals and the context of a £250,000 deficit in the Epping Forest management budget.
Responding to a Committee member’s concern the Director of Open Spaces confirmed that environmental impact of car parks had been included in the project and that the City of London Corporation did have the legal power to enforce parking charges in Epping Forest. A Committee member commented that the issue of whether the City of London Corporation was acting as a secondary local authority or a private landowner still required clarification. Responding to this the Director of Open Spaces confirmed that they were confident in the legality of the proposals.
A member of the Committee commented that public transport facilities to Epping Forest were not sufficient as an alternative to travelling by car and stated that he was against the creation of any new car parks within the Forest. The Committee member further noted that the report did not provide the required information for the report to be approved. The Director of Open Spaces responded by clarifying that a report providing further detail on the specific implantation of car parking charges would be considered in January and that the charges would provide a vital source of income for the Forest in the period of increasingly stretched budgets.
The Committee debated the merits of the report’s recommendations noting the contribution of income generated from car parking charges to the management of Epping Forest. The Deputy Chairman noted that comments from the Committee members, Epping Forest Consultative Committee and those received online had been taken on board and noted that lessons had been learnt from the implementation of car parking charges at other sites owned by the City of London Corporation. A Member requested that options be explored for differential charges for vehicles with less environmental impact.
An amendment was proposed to accept the recommendation to begin the implementation of the car parking charges, as detailed on page two hundred and eighty-eight of the agenda pack, with the exception of those car parks at High Beach. The amendment was seconded. The amendment was not carried.
The Committee proceeded to vote on the recommendation as listed in the report. Seven Members of the Committee voted in favour of the recommendation and four voted against. The recommendations were, therefore, approved by the Committee. The Committee members who voted against the recommendation confirmed that they wished to have their votes recorded were Verderer Michael Chapman DL, Verderer Paul Morris, Verderer Nicholas Munday and Verderer H.H William Kennedy.
RESOLVED- That: -