Parking Places (Variation of Charges) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 3rd February 2017.

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Photo of Marcus Jones Marcus Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Local Government) 10:30 am, 3rd February 2017

I thank my hon. Friend for his kind words. I reassure him that, following the implementation of the Bill, a council—whether in Torbay, Nuneaton or elsewhere—would certainly have to consult local people before taking the decision to increase charges.

I also reassure my hon. Friend that the provisions will not be implemented on the day the Bill receives Royal Assent. We want to ensure that there is some balance, and that the powers created are practical and proportionate. To ensure that the measures work in practice, we will consult local authorities, the Local Government Association, the British Parking Association and other interested organisations to ensure that their important views are taken into account before the regulations are made and laid. Furthermore, parliamentary colleagues will have an opportunity to consider any regulations in the normal procedures for secondary legislation. My Department will undertake a new burdens assessment to establish the administrative effect on local authorities of the duty to consult. The Bill will strengthen local democracy by giving people and businesses a voice in decisions on car parking charges that have an impact on the vitality of a town centre.