The topic has drawn fervent discussion in the community, with much criticism of the introduction of paid parking in the Town.
Business owners and residents reporting high levels of dissatisfaction at their customers and visitors having to pay to park between 8am and midnight.
Decisions are expected tonight on whether paid parking will remain in force until midnight, if there is an extension to the 15-minute free parking rule and if the two-hour user pays period should be varied.
Last week the Town delivered more than 400 letters to businesses and about 11,500 were posted to residents and other ratepayers explaining the parking plan, the second such mail-out. Locals have also been asked to complete online feedback forms and since September, nearly 300 people have given online feedback to the Town on parking management.
Tonight’s meeting is open to the public and the gallery is likely to be full of concerned locals hoping for variations to what is largely seen as revenue raising.
The Town has refuted this with an online response to its decision to charge for parking that was once free that reads:
‘Over the past 10 years Victoria Park has struggled to provide enough parking to meet continually growing demand and with our population continuing to increase, it’s a problem that isn’t going away. Parking congestion has become a major issue and caused problems for residents and local businesses alike.’
It says extensive research and public consultation led to user-pays parking as the fairest, most effective way to provide equitable access to public parking spaces.