05:05PM, Thursday 30 September 2021
Discounted resident parking to help the Royal Borough bounce back from the pandemic could be brought back, a meeting heard this week.
The comments were made by lead member for parking, Councillor David Cannon (Con, Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury), at full council on Tuesday.
Former councillor Ed Wilson had asked Cllr Cannon if he agreed that the reintroduction of the scheme would help Windsor firms fight back from the economic impact of COVID.
Cllr Cannon said: “Yes, we are committed to bringing back a residents discount scheme as soon as it is financially responsible.
“I cannot give a timetable because we are being led by the finances. Should it be possible to do, it will be rolled out at the earliest possible time.”
Last year, the council controversially scrapped discounted parking for residents through the Advantage Card scheme.
Cllr Cannon did not confirm whether this new initiative would be just for Windsor residents, or a Royal Borough-wide plan.
Later in the meeting, the council’s lead member for planning, Cllr David Coppinger (Con, Bray) warned that the Government could step in if the Borough Local Plan (BLP) is not voted through by full council.
Public member Derek Wilson had asked Cllr Coppinger what would happen if his colleagues did not see through the plan, which is still being finalised.
“This plan has been in preparation for a number of years,” he said. “Given the time we are spending on it, and the positive reaction from the inspector, should council decide not to adopt it when the time comes, I would expect Government to take immediate action.”
Towards the end of the meeting, Cllr Donna Stimson (Con, St Mary’s) presented a motion for council to acknowledge the work being done to ensure the borough meets its green targets.
She asked councillors to agree to holding an online Royal Borough summit during the UN COP26 event in Glasgow next month.
“We have to go faster and involve more groups, businesses and individuals,” Cllr Stimson said.
The lead member for climate change added that she would be bringing forward a proposal to cabinet today (Thursday) to form a ‘climate partnership’ between the authority and sustainability groups.
But opposition councillor Simon Werner (Lib Dem, Pinkneys Green) blasted the motion.
“We are seeing action from community groups but not any leadership from the council, and that is what people expect,” he said. “Nothing in the motion talks about the future and what is going to happen to speed up the council’s efforts.”
This was lamented by housing lead Cllr Ross McWilliams (Con, Cox Green), who said the borough is showing leadership, and is also in the process of applying for Government funding to help improve the energy performance of social homes.
The motion was passed by councillors upon going to a vote.
Also discussed at the meeting were proposals for the council to continue the split between virtual and in-person meetings until the end of the municipal year in April.