Surrey businesses complain over parking consultation

This article was published by the BBC in June last year.

Business and community leaders have made a formal complaint to Surrey County Council about its consultation process over on-street parking charges.

Shirley Cox, of Reigate Business Guild, said people in Elmbridge and Reigate and Banstead had been unfairly treated.

On 24 May councillors agreed to introduce charges to the two boroughs despite a 26,000-signature petition against the plans.

The authority said it had “spent a lot of time listening” to people’s views.

Ms Cox and 10 other heads of business and residents’ groups said councillors agreed to change the consultation process for other areas but not Elmbridge and Reigate and Banstead because it was too far advanced.

‘Unfairly disadvantaged’

Their letter to council leader Dr Andrew Povey states: “That the consultation process had to be changed is prima facie evidence that the original process was flawed and inadequate.

“We believe that the correct way to have dealt with this would have been to adopt the new consultation method for all districts and to have begun afresh the statutory process for Reigate and Banstead and for Elmbridge.