Andrew Griffith MP: “The great parking betrayal!” - Chichester vote on Tuesday

Arundel and South Downs MP Andrew Griffith has warned Chichester District Council not to go ahead with introducing Sunday parking fees for the first time in rural car parks and hiking hourly charges when the Council meets on Tuesday afternoon. This article is contributed by a member of the community.
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Car parking increases will be discussed in Agenda item 12 “To approve the proposal as set out in 5.1 of the Cabinet report on the increases to the car parking charges from 1 April 2024.”

The policy designed by Harsha Desai, Lib Dem Cabinet Member for Growth and Place, hits town centre users with increases of around 10% to its car parks and the introduction of Sunday charging including in Midhurst and Petworth.  Petworth Pound Street, Midhurst Post Office, Midhurst North Street and Midhurst Grange Road, as well as coastal car parks in Selsey, East and West Wittering, and Bosham are all affected.

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The council’s decision to proceed is despite its own failed consultation which due to its inaccessibility attracted a mere five responses.

Andrew Griffith had previously pointed out in his letter to the council leader, Adrian Moss, that the consultation had only been given a bare minimum of publicity and that unlike other topics, there was no ability for the public to respond online via the Chichester District Council website. 

He said it is evident that the consultation failed in its objective to collect residents’ views.  

The MP’s own survey to seek the views of his constituents in the Chichester district received over 200 responses, with a majority firmly objecting to the plans. 

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Car Parks supporting small rural High Streets impacted include Petworth Pound Street, Midhurst Post Office, Midhurst North Street and Midhurst Grange Road.

Andrew Griffith said: “It’s not too late but Chichester Council should U-turn now.

“The stealth taxation of motorists in this way will kill rather than grow our small High Streets and should be immediately withdrawn. It is clear that Cllr Harsha Desai and her Lib Dem colleagues do not know or care what their own residents think with their hidden and failed consultation reaching fewer than half a dozen residents.”