Minister addresses parking

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Lisburn Councillor Alexander Redpath has met the Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy MLA regarding the transfer of powers over off-street car parks to local councils.

Powers over off-street car parks are being transferred to the new Lisburn and Castlereagh Council from the 1st of April 2014 which will see the transfer of 681 parking places in Lisburn and 57 in Hillsborough to the new Council.

“I had a very positive meeting with the Minister and would like to thank him for taking the time to discuss this issue,” said Mr Redpath.

“I believe the transfer of parking powers is one of the key economic powers coming to the new councils. The Minister and I discussed the legislative timetable for the transfer of powers, means of enforcement and the costs of installing barriers at DRD car parks.”

Mr Redpath also took the opportunity to discuss parking charges in the city centre.

“We also discussed the £1 for five hours scheme which will operate until October this year,” continued Mr Redpath.

“I would be keen to see the council adopt a similar scheme when powers are transferred to give an economic boost to city centre traders.”

Councillor Brian Bloomfield, Chairman of the Environmental Services Committee of Lisburn and Castlereagh Council added: “The Environmental Services Committee recently heard a presentation from Terry Deehan of DRD regarding the new parking powers.

“Mr Deehan explained that a Bill, transferring powers to Councils was presently at the Consultation stage and which, with no delays, would become law in January 2015.

“The powers transferred to Councils include the ability to construct new off-street car parks, to set opening hours and tariffs, to decide parking regulations, to employ parking attendants and manage enforcement of parking breaches.

“However, while the Bill is at Consultation Stage there is the potential for limitations or constraints to be placed on it by MLAs.

“This could affect what Councils might do and would undermine DRD’s intention that the transfer of the parking function should be a ‘no strings attached’ affair.”