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Students sidelined in recent parking scheme consultation

Portsmouth City Council has omitted students from the decision making process for a new car parking scheme. The consultation took place last year and resulted in a change in the parking system in November. Students that are residing in certain areas now have to register their car to their Portsmouth address to be able to apply for a permit to park outside their house.

Portsmouth City Council website states: “The schemes are requested by residents through their councillors or neighbourhood forums. Once there is enough support for such a scheme, we conduct a survey of residents’ views, which asks how they would prefer their scheme to operate. The results are then analysed and entered onto a database.”

Jo Ellcome, Group Administrator of Transport and Environment at the Portsmouth City Council said: “Permanent residents in areas of the city campaign for residents parking schemes due to parking problems caused by commuters, local employees and parking by students (often several per household).”

Students were not included in this consultation because they are not considered permanent residents of Portsmouth.

Ms. Ellcome added: ”Residents parking questionnaires are sent to households registered for council tax. Registered student accommodation is exempt from council tax and would not therefore have been sent a questionnaire.”

However, UPSU VP Welfare and Community Stephen Mr. Roberts explains: “roads with a large student population will produce skewed results if students aren’t asked for their opinion.”

Some of the roads that are included in the parking scheme are: Rugby Road, Telephone Road, Orchard Road, Manners Road as well as parts of Francis Avenue, Talbot Road and Percy Road.

Mr. Roberts plans to hold a meeting with Portsmouth City Council to discuss the changes in the parking system around Portsmouth. He said: “We tried opening discussions with the council but have had no response so are attempting to raise a bit of awareness within the student body before approaching them again.”

He added: “the Council say they are committed to getting more students involved in local democracy, and engaged in their community but then deliberately marginalise them in the decision making process.”

Mr. Roberts urges students who have been affected by this change to contact him to discuss their issues. He hopes to meet with Councillor Gerald Vernon Jackson and present students’ concerns to the Council in the near future.

For more information on these parking schemes, visit http://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/living/5946.html.

If you have any issues with the scheme, contact Stephen Roberts via email stephen.roberts@upsu.net or call on 02392 843 635.