A community leader has re-affirmed Staffordshire Moorlands District Council’s (SMDC) intention to meet the desires of Cheadle representatives regarding car park works. Cheadle town councillors who sit on the district council and SMDC leader Sybil Ralphs along with deputy leader Mark Deaville held a meeting six weeks ago to discuss a ‘Strategic Car Parking Strategy’ for its car parks going forward.
A community leader has re-affirmed Staffordshire Moorlands District Council’s (SMDC) intention to meet the desires of Cheadle representatives regarding car park works.
Cheadle town councillors who sit on the district council and SMDC leader Sybil Ralphs along with deputy leader Mark Deaville held a meeting six weeks ago to discuss a ‘Strategic Car Parking Strategy’ for its car parks going forward.
There, each representative were able to put forward ideas regarding the regeneration of them.
Since then, resurfacing works have taken place on Tape Street Car Park although, these are separate to the strategic car parking plans.
Cllr Ralphs told the Times & Echo: “It needed urgent repairs because the surface was damaged so much that people walking on it could have had an accident.
“Even though we are working on a parking strategy, and probably the work that has been done now to make that surface safe might be altered in the months to come, we had to do it then because it was an unsafe surface for people to walk on and to drive on. It was in urgent need of repair.”
At an SMDC meeting on Wednesday, November 3, Cheadle town councillor Gary Bentley, one of the town’s district councillors, asked for an update on the works regarding what the Cheadle representatives had asked for within the Strategic Car Parking Strategy.
He asked: “When will the Cheadle car parks be completed to the design requested by the Car Park Working Group to include parent/child bays, school drop-off zones and coach/bus parking?
“An indication of the total cost of the project would also be helpful.”
Speaking at the SMDC meeting last week, cabinet member councillor Andrew Hart said: “The feedback from Cheadle members regarding the Cheadle car parks to the leader in late summer is now being considered along with the feedback received across the district from the consultations that were carried out earlier on in the year by Parking Matters.
“All these suggestions and requests have not only had an impact on the council’s capital budget but also on the long-term revenue position within the medium financial plan.”
He added: “It’s a complex process to estimate and model the financial implication of these decisions.
“Not all decisions from the feedback will be affordable, or enforceable for that matter.
“Specific projects will need to be costed and prioritised for delivery as part of the overall strategy which will consider the car parking needs across the district as well as those specifically linked to Cheadle.”
Cllr Bentley then asked whether Cheadle’s district councillors would be invited to future meetings regarding car park plans. He said: “I do wish that we could invite some town council representatives, some businesses from Cheadle and some of the district councillors from Cheadle to be part of the Cheadle car park plans.”
SMDC leader cllr Ralphs, who arrived at the meeting via phone link amidst this question, said: “We have turned cartwheels to ensure that all district councillors in Cheadle, as well as Leek and Biddulph, have been fully involved in this whole process, right from the very beginning.
“And to cut matters short, we even took the trouble to meet – myself and portfolio holder and deputy leader Mark Deaville – with the Cheadle district councillors in a special meeting and asked them to list what it was that they wanted to see enacted in Cheadle as far as car parking strategy was concerned.
“We meticulously recorded what was said and we presented that to the officers and said ‘get a blueprint as near as you possibly can to what the councillors have requested.’
“Now, unless I’m getting the content of the question wrong that cllr Bentley has asked – I was just joining you as he was talking about it – I can’t see we could have done any more to involve the district councillors than what we have done.
“We have taken really, really strong pains to make absolutely sure that each and everyone of them was involved in putting this strategy together.”
Speaking to the Times & Echo on Monday (November 8), cllr Ralphs added: “The car parking strategy, in its final stages, will be what the people of Cheadle want.
“It must reflect the wishes of the representatives of the people of Cheadle, in this case it is the district councillors.
“We are working closely with them to ensure that the car parking strategy, and they know what will work and what won’t work.
“I am so anxious for Cheadle to have an appropriate and suitable car parking strategy that will work for the people of Cheadle.
“I want a parking strategy that will work for the people who live there, the people who work there and the people who visit there.”
Cllr Bentley, on Monday, added: “I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully it can be done as soon as possible.
“It would be nice to get it ready for early spring next year so we can welcome people into the town.”
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