Parking restrictions will be implemented in Whitby after a county council committee containing no elected representatives of the town voted to approve a controversial new scheme.
Resounding boos greeted the casting vote of Yorkshire Coast and Moors County Area Committee acting chair Derek Bastiman after he opted to approve the scheme, which will see residents soon have to pay to park outside their own homes.
Whitby’s long-awaited park and ride scheme, which will be funded in part through the proceeds of the parking restrictions, is also now set to go ahead.
In choosing to go ahead with the project, the committee has chosen to ignore the opinions of 80 per cent of Whitby residents who stated they would be against the parking restrictions and an entire room of furious residents from Whitby, Sandsend and the surrounding district, who unanimously spoke out in their opposition to the scheme at the Sneaton Castle meeting this afternoon.
Coun Derek Bastiman said: “It was too much to ask. The consultation has been on going since the late 1990s, it’s been well thought through, it has been publicised. At the end of the day we have got to do the best for what we sit for the town of Whitby and that’s what we have felt we have done today.”
However, every single member of the public that spoke at the meeting did so to express their disapproval of the scheme, including Joseph Hughes, who said: “It’s difficult to find any single measure designed to poison Whitby’s economy more than this. You need to put the zones in the bin, and if the park and ride relies on the zones then bin that too.”
In a clear party split, the five remaining Conservative councillors voted for the scheme to be approved, with some amendments proposed by Scarborough Borough Mayor Andrew Backhouse, while five opposing councillors voted to delay the scheme for 12 months, to allow further consultation and justification to take place.
Coun Eric Broadbent proposed a motion for the parking restrictions and park and ride scheme to be delayed a year for more information to be gathered, and for the public to be consulted further. Following the decision he said: “I am extremely disappointed. We felt a 12 month consultation period and justification of a scheme that’s going to affect Whitby so much was not too much to ask but it has been thrown out.”
In a move that outraged the public gallery and openly infuriated the councillors involved, Whitby’s three representatives - Couns Joe Plant, Dorothy Clegg and David Chance - were all forced to declare a pecuniary interest in the scheme and so were forced to leave the room, instead of taking part in a vote that would significantly effect the lives of the residents living in their electoral decisions.