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By Colin Smeeton
A move to introduce car parking charges in Brodick has been scrapped by North Ayrshire Council.
The plan was finally thrown out this week after it failed to receive the support of the audit and scrutiny committee and was returned to the council cabinet to reconsider. The decision will cost the council around £10,000 year in potential revenue.
With the combined efforts of the Arran and Ardrossan councillors – Timothy Billings, Ellen McMaster and Tony Gurney – who made their opposition to the proposal clear to the audit and scrutiny committee back in July, the cabinet were convinced by their reasoning and agreed not to introduce seasonal parking charges on Brodick shorefront.
In June, as part of an effort to improve the turnover of spaces in high demand areas and reduce problem parking, it was agreed to introduce charges in selected car parks across North Ayrshire.
However, while rejecting the charges, cabinet members did agree to move forward with plans to decriminalise parking enforcement (DPE) on the island, which means that the power to deal with problem parking will pass from the police to the council. A final decision on this will be made at the next meeting of the full council on Wednesday September 25.
Councillor Jim Montgomerie, cabinet member for place, said: ‘In agreeing not to introduce car parking charges, we have taken on board the comments of local members and we will continue to work with them to identify parking issues on the island and act accordingly.
‘As we move towards decriminalising parking enforcement, it is important that we have the ability to deal with parking issues across all of North Ayrshire.
‘If DPE is not introduced on Arran, we would not be able to control any existing or new issues with parking behaviour and Police Scotland have confirmed that they would welcome the transfer of parking enforcement powers to the council.
‘At a time when the number of vehicles on Arran is continuing to increase, the council will be in a better position to deal with situations as they arise.’
A spokesman for Arran Community Council said: ‘The proposal appeared to be more about making money than resolving an issue.’