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Labour gave away council control over NCP parking charges

June 25, 2007 10:31 AM

NCP car park.The former Labour leadership of Cardiff Council has come under attack for giving away control over charges in a number of NCP car parks in Cardiff 's city centre, when in office in 2001.

The current Liberal Democrat administration has criticised the lease conditions to NCP car parks, agreed by the former Labour leadership of Cardiff Council, whereby the Council lost its right to limit charges.

Councillor Elgan Morgan, the Liberal Democrat executive member for environment and transport, explained: "In the late 1980's some of the city's multi-story car parks were leased to NCP by the former South Glamorgan County Council. However, the Council placed limits on how much NCP could increase parking charges each year to keep rises in line with inflation.

"However, these leases were subsequently renegotiated in 2001 and, at that time, the then Labour leadership of Cardiff Council gave up the council's right to a say over how much NCP could charge. This change in conditions agreed at that time by Labour has led to NCP having the full freedom to raise parking charges as much as it wants in two current multi-storey car parks - Wood Street and Westgate Street.

"No wonder charges in Wood Street car park have doubled. Shoppers are now being hit because of what Labour did when in office. Had they not agreed a few years ago to this change in the conditions under which these leases operate, the council could still have had a say over the level of charges in these car parks."

Liberal Democrat council leader, Rodney Berman, added: "This was all agreed by Russell Goodway as the former Labour leader of Cardiff Council. Many of his organisation's members might now ask why, as leader of the council, he agreed to place city centre businesses at the mercy of NCP's charging policy. This has clearly been proved to have been a very short-sighted decision."