The controversial rise in car parking charges continues to dominate our letters page.
DOESN’T ADD UP
Reading the letters in the latest issue of the BH (18th Feb) “Just to be clear” and “Figure it out” I find it interesting that Brian Roberts “Cabinet Member for Civic Amenities, Aylesbury Vale District Council” and Howard Mordue “Cabinet Member for Leisure, Aylesbury Vale District Council” do not seem to know how much the Civic Centre cost to run in its final year.
Brian Roberts states it was £630,000 and Howard Mordue states it was £800,000 . . . that’s a difference of £170,000! Surely the Council know how much the Civic Centre actually cost to run in its final year.
What I also find interesting is Brian Roberts states the Civic Centre used to seat 400 people while Howard Mordue states is seated 600 people . . . again another difference in figures . . . this time of 200 people.
I have just done a quick Internet search, and have found the Aylesbury Civic Centre actually seated 700 people while having capacity for 1,000 people standing. (This information was from www.theatrestrust.org.uk) more than both of the figures they stated.
I am concerned that it appears the Council does not seem to have accurate figures, but what I find more worrying is the fact the council is missing £170,000 (cost of a two bedroom house) where has tha money gone.
Also discussed in the letters are parking charges, Brian Roberts stating it’s only Exchange street that will to be changed, (you know the one, where they knocked down a multi-storey car park to build a open air car park. Which to my understanding now only has 415 parking spaces where as the multi-storey had 450 spaces).
If you are increasing exchange street parking charges why have the others not been changed? (Oh wait I think I know the answer, they want to hit visitors to the town since a lot of people head there first when going in to town)
As one person commented, visiting the Waterside Theatre with the new charges in the evening is a huge increase. I think the council is clearly looking at theatregoers, with a huge grin; rubbing their hands together and thinking ooh look a previously untapped revenue source.
But do not fear theatregoers and visitors to Aylesbury; we will be getting free parking . . . after 9pm . . . Whoop Dee Doo!
Think about it, people driving in to town in the evening usually get there between 6.30pm and 7.30pm have a meal then go to the cinema, theatre (or whatever) They would then leave around 11pm.
These people would now have to pay £2.50 up till 9pm, where as before it was £1. I know it’s not a lot but stating confusion over the £1 rate as the reason to change it, What confusion is there? Monday to Saturday: 6:31pm - midnight £1.
Sundays and Bank Holidays: Flat fee £1. That looks rather clear to me!
If the cabinet members of civic amenities would like someone to come along to a meeting and explain how the above pricing, they set in years ago (which clearly was not confusing at the time) is not actually confusing, I would be more than happy attend, as I am sure many others be.
I think on parking charges alone it shows that once again they are out of touch with the residents.
Perhaps its time for change?
AIMED AT US
I was appalled, and read with disbelief the proposed revised charges by AVDC at the Exchange Street car park.
These new evening charges are obviously and purposely directed at theatregoers mainly and also at persons dining out in the evenings.
This is a cynical move to disadvantage those persons the Council professes to encourage into the town centre at night.
The council admits that the theatre brings huge amounts into the local economy, but still they are not satisfied.
The subsidy to the theatre is also considerably less than that spent to keep the old Civic Centre afloat. They boast about the car park being free after 9 pm – big deal! None of the other town centre car parks are having these new evening rates applied, which makes it even more obvious who is being targeted.
The current £1 charge will, in most cases, increase to £3.50 and if one wishes to partake of a meal prior to a show it will rise to £4 or more.
So much for encouraging people to use the theatre and the new, and proposed, restaurants.
I really do despair at the lack of foresight and tunnel vision of these people. Do they really not realise that this action is a deterrent to the very people we wish to attract to the town centre at night.
I hope that the Chief Executive of the Waterside Theatre, plus other ATG staff with influence, and all the town’s restauranteurs, make strong representation to the Council in a combined effort to get this unfair and idiotic proposal relegated to where “the sun doesn’t shine!”.
WINTEY HOLDS THE KEY
Councillor Roberts’ missive does not add up.
The amended evening parking costs at Exchange Street (unless I’ve misread his letter) from 18.30 will rise to £2.50 from £1, a 250% increase.
Sundays and Bank Holidays will increase by 50%.
The councillor claims that this is to avoid a shortfall but two years ago his own authority informed me that income from parking fees and excess charges (fines) exceeded expenditure by over £250,000!
In other words parking motorists were subsidising council tax payers.
No councillor we do not have the cheapest parking charges for miles around, go to Thame, Berkhamsted and Leighton Buzzard for similar shopping or even nearer home at The Junction in Aylesbury.
To really see how it should be done go to Witney.
Despite being surrounded by Swindon, Oxford and Bicester and half the population of Aylesbury the town centre has a very good range of shops and it is always very busy.
Could this be because the first two hours of parking are free? Even Milton Keynes was free for the first 20 or so years.
BEMUSED BY IT ALL
I always enjoy reading the letters to the editor every week.
I was slightly bemused by two letters appearing in last week’s paper headed “Just to be clear” and “Figure it out” respectively.
In the letter from Mr Roberts he states that the old Civic Centre cost £630,000 to run in its last year of operation and held 400 seats while Mr Mordue states that the same Civic centre was costing £800,000 to run in 2010 and seated 600 people.
These two gentlemen are both cabinet members of AVDC.
My point is if they show such discrepancies over something as simple as how many seats a venue holds and how much it costs to run in a year can we trust any of the facts and figures put out to the public by the council. It makes you wonder!
Oliffe Close, Aylesbury
RICH MAN’S EGO?
Letter to the Prime Minister
Mr Cameron, when is this ridiculous situation going to end?
Why hasn’t it been put to the country for referendum? Or is it the rich man’s ego?
This country put you where you are, do you not think that the very least you could do, is to seek a referendum?
How can you put your expensive rich man’s toy, i.e. HS2 before people’s lives (the very people that put you where you are today).
Where is your loyalty to the sick and needy. Is it that you are not the man you claim to be? Or, are we being governed by a covert dictatorship?
All the shouting in parliament, playing the blame game like school children (I feel that I am being unfair to school children in saying that).
Do you really think that you stand much of a chance in the up and coming elections unless you change your values?
Christmas Eve the NHS saved my life, also October 6th 2012 they again saved my life, so I can bear witness to the wonderful work done by these devoted people in ALL departments of the NHS.
Particular thanks to doctors, nurses in A&E and wards 10.
On a different note, do you not think that it is high time to start curbing immigration?
I stress that I have not a racist bone in my body, but you must admit that all the monies being dished out, cannot continue, elderly folk have difficulty scrapping by on very small and limited money, we get our friends come over and get considerably more, anyone with half a brain know we do not have a bottomless pit on which to draw.
I await your comments with interest.
Eastfield Road Princes
DISGUSTED WITH ATTITUDE
At the recent County Council Meeting which set the new budget increase of 1.99% I was absolutely disgusted with the attitude of our Conservative members.
I poised a possible saving just by looking at Adult Social Care and the money we paid to outside agencies.
The reaction was that I was accused by the leader Martin Tett of crash and burn.
The councillor for Wing suggested that the increase in council tax did not make a difference to any one.
This is an increase in successive years and although not a large amount it does make a difference to some of the residents on mine and other areas in Aylesbury.
The meeting degenerated when we were heckled by several Conservative members that we were supporters of HS2.
A fact that simply is not true. The problem is that the Tories do not know their HS2 from High Speed Rail.
There appears to be an arrogance at both a local and national level. Certainly our PM with his stance on HS2!
Jeremy Paxman said recently that Winston Churchill would not fit into modern day politics. He said he was very arrogant, a chancer and a charlatan.
On that basis I would have thought he would be perfect!
UKIP and Independent Group Leader
Bucks County Council
FISH AND CHIPS
For the second time I tried the new McCoy’s Fish & Chips on Wendover high street and once again they were excellent: Medium cod cooked to perfection, chips just right with mushy peas & curry sauce; the best in the area for miles around I would say.
The last time I visited during the day I ate inside the dinning area, paid a little bit more for eating in but it was a great experience with everything cooked fresh and very tasty indeed, served with a hot pot of tea and with a smile by very friendly staff.
I would give them ten out of ten and wish them success. ... but no wonder it is so good as realised the owner is Atila, ( From Northern Cyprus originally I think) he is the same guy who owns Bedgrove Fish & Chip Shop which is also good, but not quite as good as the new shop...maybe it is the fryer or the spacious shop with the big windows (used to be the Peking Chinese I believe) ...whatever Wendover has got a traditional fish & chip shop that can’t be ‘battered’ ( bettered LOL).
So what you waiting for folks give it a try