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Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Scrutiny committee to look at the expensive Southall car park plan after Labour vote split

At a scrutiny committee tonight which myself and fellow Liberal Democrat Councillor Andrew Steed attended, it was agreed to look (at its next meeting) the business case of the proposed 5.5 million pounds car park for Southall.

There were a number of Labour Councillors who voted for the proposal to review the business case which meant that the proposal, supported by myself, won 7-4. This means that the Council officers will get together the business case figures about why £5.5 million pounds should be spend on a car park. It is good to open up this subject for discussion, as one Labour councillor last night made a comment that there isn't really a solid business case.

When I investigated this before not only is the 5.5 million pounds a huge amount of money to spend the need for a car park just doesn't appear to be there. Added to this the Council will be paying interest on the 5.5 million pounds for about twenty years. The money should be used on more important services that the Council might be cutting or to bring back cuts it has made to Park Rangers, Envirocrime Officers, etc. The list goes on.

I hope opening up this cloudy issue will show that it would have been wise to follow the Liberal Democrat proposal to not build a car park for so much in Southall. My party was the ONLY party to put forward a budget amendment when the Council Tax was set in Ealing about 6 months ago.

If the scrutiny committee deemed the business case for a car park not very sensible then perhaps the Council will reverse its plans (there is still time).

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