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Borough cabinet chief rejects congested parking cash call
THE BOROUGH council’s Cabinet chief in charge of residential parking has admitted that congested streets are a problem – but she has dismissed Labour calls for a cash injection of up to £1million to tackle the problem.
Councillor Cathy Osselton, Conservative member for partnerships on the borough’s decision-making Cabinet, said that enough council cash is already being put towards the issue.
She added that Basingstoke and Deane is “unique” because it actually had a scheme aimed at improving problem streets.
She said: “Many residential areas, especially those built in the 1960s and 1970s, suffer from issues with parking availability, and I know that this must cause frustration for residents.
“We are one of only a few councils that has invested in a programme to gradually improve parking provision, and we have earmarked funds for it over the next few years, despite funding pressures in other areas that residents have told us are a higher priority for them.”
She rejected Labour’s idea of releasing up to £1m from the council’s £3.5m 2011-12 surplus to tackle the worst-affected areas.
Cllr Ossleton said: “The reserves to fund the capital programme are maintained to ensure that the council’s four-year capital programme and future programmes can be afforded.
“Part of the reserves fund is invested to provide income to service the cost of projects and to help the council to provide residents with the lowest rate of council tax in Hamp-shire.
“If all of the council’s reserves were to be spent at once, then there would be no capital to fund future projects. Resources are limited and the council needs to prioritise the projects that will be undertaken.”