As a result of concerns raised by the Ashtead Residents’ Association regarding the issuing of additional car parking permits in Ashtead we can report the following:-
Ashtead Independent Councillors Mary Cooper, Patricia Wiltshire and Peter Stanyard representing all three Wards met with MVDC Interim Head of Corporate services – Mr Paul Anderson. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the arrangement by MVDC to grant 60 Ashtead based car parking permits to Premium Credit. 40 permits have been granted for APMH car park usage with 20 in the Grove Road car park, following a reduction of 25 for Ashtead Hospital staff. The permit period of cover is 13the March 2017 to 31st March 2018.
Premium Credit is located at the Exxon site and staff using the car park permits will be bussed to the site daily. The request is to accommodate an increased number of temporary contract staff, so is anticipated not to be a permanent arrangement. Permission to grant the permits was not discussed with local Councillors as the permits do not constitute a contractual binding arrangement to Council, as they may be withdrawn at any time. However, it was acknowledged as a matter of courtesy local Councillors would be informed in future.
Prior to the meeting Councillor Stanyard audited the APMH car park and discovered only 9 parked cars displaying the permit pass – approximately 25% usage rate . However, we will be keeping a close eye on the usage figures over the next few weeks with MVDC staff additionally reviewing the sites at our request.
As a result of the meeting the following actions have been agreed:-
1. Premium Credit have been informed of residents’ concerns and have been asked to use the long term park area at back of the APMH to allow residents front end spaces;
2. Ashtead Independents will be requesting a strategy car parking review is undertaken in Ashtead particularly so they can understand the collective impact on car parking in the area prior to the opening of the new M&S store: they will agree the scope of the review with MVDC .
3. Discussion will be undertaken with M&S management to understand their expectation of car movement within the car parks.
4. MVDC will monitor car parks over next few weeks to identify whether the arrangement is causing any major concerns, and should that be the case, they can withdraw permits .
5. Ashtead Independents will be asking Premium Credit to re-examine their on-site parking to see if they can make arrangements to accommodate the extra staff on current site grounds .
We will keep you informed of progress on this web site or via http://ashteadindependents.org/
Should you find difficulty in locating a space at the car parks, could you please inform MVDC and copy your Ward Councillor – contact details are located on the MVDC website http://www.molevalley.gov.uk/
When the ARA Chairman spoke with the Council Officers on 30th March they were very clear that a mistake had been made in not informing our local Councillors about the leasing arrangements. They explained that officers make 99% of all the operating decisions but those decisions must always be in accordance with the Council's constitution and the policies laid down by Councillors. It seems that if Councillors were to be informed about all the decisions in each of their areas their inboxes would have hundreds of additional emails a day. But in the instance of the Ashtead car parks they know they should have made an exception.
Now that the car parks are high on the agenda with all concerned, we will have to see how things go for a while but Mole Valley will not be unreasonable should we find that parking has become impossible for residents.