At Waverley Borough Council’s Executive meeting on Tuesday, Julianne Evans, President of Haslemere’s Chamber of Trade, presented the petition with 1,000 signatures to the Executive requesting the reversal of the decision to extend the car park hours at Chestnut Avenue car park. You may view this on the Waverley webcast. (Running time between 18.50 to 18.52) Below is a transcription of what Julianne said:
Cllr Band: Right, we now have a petition, Mrs Julianne Evans…
Mrs Julianne Evans: Thank you, Chairman. The petition I’m presenting today is requesting a reversal of the decision to increase the charging period in Chestnut Avenue Car Park specifically. The report you’re about to see is a review of the proposals that came into play in February 2012. The reason you did not receive any response to your initial consultation is because people in Haslemere were simply unaware it was in progress. The catchment population of Haslemere is 15,000. Only a small percentage of those read the paper where the notice was published. The only other place they could have found out about it was the one, close typed small print poster behind condensation filled glass in each car park.
The contrast between these and the huge notices announcing the price rises after they were in place was simply laughable. How can you look yourselves in the face and see people who are doing their best for Haslemere?
The petition I am presenting today contains the required number of signatures for it to be considered by the Executive. But, had we had a precise date by which it was needed and, if it hadn’t had to be organised in a hurry before people started going on holiday, we would have collected far more. As it was, we collected these thousand odd signatures in less than two weeks.
Unbelievably, the report you are about to consider says the proposals contained within it were “well received”. This is simply not true. If by that you mean you got no objections then fair enough but please don’t use that kind of language. You are public servants yet you are ignoring those best interests you claim to represent. Why in that case have a consultation at all? This is not a democracy as the community of Haslemere knows it. I would strongly urge to re-write your report both to accurately reflect the facts and to reverse the decision in the case of Chestnut Avenue.
Cllr Band. Thank you Mrs Evans and thank you for presenting the petition.