Could deal be struck at last on free car parking?

Ruth Ash and Llew Monger presenting the car parking petition to AVDC leader John Cartwright
Ruth Ash and Llew Monger presenting the car parking petition to AVDC leader John Cartwright

FREE parking in Winslow could be assured until 2018 if all goes well for the town at two important meetings.

As the Advertiser went to press last night, Thursday, Winslow Town Council was due to vote on a proposal put forward by town mayor Llew Monger, which has been negotiated with representatives of Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC).

Councillor Monger said he was “ecstatic” to be able to put the proposal which, if agreed at town council, will then go to AVDC cabinet for approval.

For over a year, Winslow has been battling AVDC proposals to introduce charges to the town’s Greyhound Lane car park.

And last summer Winslow resident Ruth Ash obtained 2,186 signatures against the move – the most ever received by AVDC on a petition.

Historically, the town council has paid a subsidy to AVDC to keep the car parks free, but AVDC wanted this to be increased from £2,000 to £16,000.

Mr Monger, who is also a district councillor, has been in extensive discussions with AVDC leader John Cartwright and director Tracey Aldworth.

If the new proposal is agreed, Winslow Town Council will pay an increased level of subsidy in order to keep parking free in Greyhound Lane, and agree to a fixed level of increase for each year to 2018 when the agreement will be reviewed.

The Market Square will continue to enjoy free parking for the first hour but the charge for the second hour will increase.

Mr Monger told the Advertiser: “Winslow is unique among small rural communities in north Bucks in that it has managed to maintain a bank and a post office as well as a thriving retail sector and AVDC has recognised the importance free parking plays in that.

“The town council recognises that AVDC must recover at least the basic cost of providing the car parks, and the new proposal takes account of this.”