Councillors clash over residents' parking discount announcement

The announcement of a planned parking discount scheme for residents in Windsor and Maidenhead led to clashes between councillors this week.

Council leader Andrew Johnson revealed the borough’s plan to offer an hour’s discount for drivers ‘all over the borough’ in a video released on social media on Tuesday.

The video added that the full details of the discount scheme will be discussed at the next Royal Borough cabinet meeting in December.

But the announcement led to confusion among members of the Windsor Town Forum who said the proposals should be subject to a public consultation.

Councillor Jon Davey (WWRA, Clewer and Dedworth West) told the meeting: “The cabinet go on TV and make these announcements and get everyone buzzing about what’s going on but they’re not clear at all and we need clarity.

“As councillors we should be consulted on the process and they’re ignoring retailers.

“It’s playing with people’s heads and that’s not right. You either have a system of consultation or you don’t.”

Councillor David Hilton, cabinet member for finance at the Royal Borough, said all decisions over expenditure for the forthcoming financial year will be discussed by councillors at a full council meeting in February.

Opposition councillor Neil Knowles (Independent, Old Windsor) stormed out of York House following the dispute over the council leader’s parking announcement.

The Royal Borough had previously run a popular discount scheme but this was scrapped in 2020 due to financial pressures meaning residents had to pay full price to park in council-owned car parks.

Last week Cllr Lynne Jones (Old Windsor Residents Association, Old Windsor) called on the council to offer residents one-hour free parking in all of its car parks as part of the 2022/23 budget.

Brian McCormack, owner of Snappy Snaps in Peascod Street, hit out at the council at Tuesday’s meeting for not consulting businesses over its parking plans both during the festive season and for the forthcoming year.

“It appears to me decisions were just taken for this scheme without consultation,” he added.

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