Read It And Weep…. Car Parking Increases Go Through , But Only 14 Councillors Vote For It

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The increase in car park charges went through tonight. And the free parking on Saturday afternoons was ended as well. But the vote was closer than expected – you could weep with frustration. 14 voted for, 11 abstained, 7 voted against.

14 Councillors voted for (all Conservatives) :
Butcher (Hawkwell), Cottis (Rochford) Cutmore (Ashingdon and Canewdon) Glynn (Hawkwell) Gordon (Rochford) Grey (Rayleigh) Lucas-Gill,(Rochford) , McPherson (Hawkwell), Merrick (Rayleigh), Mockford (Rayleigh) , Seagers (Wakering) , Smith (Rayleigh) , Steptoe (Barling), Wilkins (Wakering)

11 Councillors abstained (10 Conservatives and 1 Lib Dem)
Aves (Rayleigh), Dray (Rayleigh), Griffin (Rayleigh), Hale (Hullbridge), Hazelwood (Hockley), Mrs Lumley (Rayleigh), Maddocks (Hockley), Mountain (Rayleigh) , Roe (Rayleigh), Sperring (Rayleigh) and Ward (Rayleigh)

7 voted against (3 Lib Dems, 2 Greens 2 Rochford Residents)
Black (Rayleigh and Rawreth), Mrs Hoy (Hullbridge), Mr Hoy (Hullbridge), Mr Lumley (Rayleigh), Mrs Mason (Hawkwell), Mr Mason (Hawkwell), Oatham (Rayleigh and Rawreth)

It was quite a sight to see 10 Tories defying their powerful party whip and abstaining. Pity that 8 of the abstainers didn’t actually vote against – then we w0uld have won.

Three things worth mentioning:
1) Cllr Dray abstained, though the minutes will probably show him voting for, that will be corrected later.
2) It was good to see some people watching in the public gallery.
3) By this evening, it was clear that the increases are no longer linked to flood prevention measures, it’s part of an attempt to increase council reserves from £750,000 to £2,690,000


  1. The Rayleigh Councillors who voted for the demise of their own town centre should be ashamed of themselves. I sincerely hope this is remembered when they come up for re-election.

  2. Notice that of the 14 people who voted yes only 4 represent a Rayleigh ward. It’s very apparent that the views of the people are being completely ignored by the people who are supposed to represent them.

  3. Told you so , most of those abstaining are up for re- election soon so they were obviously caught between the wrath of the party Whip and upsetting voters – so
    they took the easy way out , if your in there’re Ward then vote accordingly!!!!!!.

    As for parking increase not for flooding , why then was Cllr Hudson quoted in the Echo as saying it was a week or two ago – will he ask them to retract the article now? or
    has the party line been amended ( see gobbledeegook statement on original thread).

    But Oz is right ( above ) and who voted what needs to get out there to the wider
    Rayleigh voting audience – I’ll start with a letter to the Echo , any other ideas?.

  4. #8 – Christine, I will try, but tends to have to be famine/flooding or pestilence to get them interested.
    I have however done the Echo letter -already sent…………JIM.

  5. Very disappointing that this has happened due to the loss of trade that will probably result in the town centre. Rather strange to have a campaign to shop at my local and other schemes but at the same time introduce the one thing that no business wanted.

  6. If this does not stop people voting Tory in the next elections I give up. These Conservatives think they only have to turn up to get in. Voting on blind Party Lines in Local elections is a waste of your Local vote.
    People smell the coffee please.

  7. Absolutely shameful, all those that abstained are cowardly. How about we abstain from voting at the next election. Life long conservative voter no more. As a business owner, I feel this is not in the interest of reviving Hockley business, does nothing to encourage any new business, or shoppers in to our high street. Shame on you all. If Southend can maintain their parking charges for the last 3years without an increase, why not Rochford. I feel there is a hidden agenda here.

  8. Jim
    I also suggest BBC Essex, do these rates apply right across the Rochford district? or just Rayleigh. It would appear that it will be cheaper to park in Southend than Rayleigh 2 hours cost me £1.60 today in Southend. I know there is Petrol in the equation but major shops such as Marks and Spencer Debenhams etc.etc., or numerous hairdressers in Rayleigh. The biggest rise will be for the 1hour visitor do we have any statistics on duration of parking. I often pay for 1 hour which is long enough for my needs, but I refuse to entertain a 25% increase on principal. Now council please think again

  9. Disgusting that so many councillors abstained. I was at the meeting and I was absolutely disgusted. Surely the councillors hold their positions to make a difference. Voting on increased car park charges is not hard surely. Those councillors should be ashamed of themselves. And as for the money being made available for a flood forum. Will they have anyone in the forum who actually knows anything about drainage and the sewer system. Or someone just taking money for a job title? Anglian water and other authorities whose job it is, should be sorting out this problem. New builds whose drainage will be added to the original sewer system will also add to flooding problems. Are we going to have anyone knowledgable enough to deal with this. Or is it going to be a waste of money?

  10. Do the councillors who voted yes actually live in the real world & listen to what the people they are meant to serve want? Disappointed that more of those that abstained did not vote this further decline to Rayleigh out

  11. Geoff at #11 – absolutely , it is the only reason I post so profusely on here , just
    trying to get more people aware of what is going on with Rayleigh/Rawreth
    Local issues – which are actually dictated by Central and West RDC Councillors.
    Jeanne at #12 – yes the hidden agenda is how they get round the Government 2%
    cap on Council Taxes , ie:- deferring some on parking charges etc; – they will now
    Actually be achieving a 4.98% hike this coming year.
    Julie at # 14 – I have now found information that suggests that new developers
    been under-applying the SUDS criteria in assessing flood drainage requirements,
    I will post more when I have expert advice.

  12. Correction – # 16 above …..

    I of course meant Central and East RDC Councillors ( dictating local issues in West
    Rayleigh & Rawreth ) … apologies for typo.

  13. It’s fairly simple really – I for one won’t pay this charge. I usually go into Rayleigh on a Saturday, get a paper, some odds and ends of shopping, bread, veg, the odd impulse buy. I also check out the market two or three times a month, pop in at odd times if I have something to pay into the Bank, go to the hairdressers etc. From now on paying into the Bank will be combined with going to the hairdressers, so once every 6/8 weeks, on Saturdays I’ll go to Tesco Express at Shotgate and park for free and the market will go down to once a month at most. So, not only will I save the extra fees, but all the fees I pay normally as well. Rayleigh shops will miss out on whatever custom I may be giving them. I’m not paying £1 just to go to the Bank and/or Building Society and as I have queued for over 30 minutes in Halifax before now I have to buy the full hour.

    Here’s a suggestion. Scrap parking fees completely. Save on car park attendants, emptying and maintaining the machines, no need for those machines that they use to give out parking tickets, watch the High St. boom not wither and die.

  14. Christine – Saturday 11am ( Mill / Clock area) , an opportunity to tell the Evening Echo
    how you feel about it , plus a photo opportunity for the Traders & Residents……

  15. All.
    There is an interesting piece in today’s ECHO about the councillors who abstained from the vote ( you know the ones, elected to represent us and actually represent their party first and us second )
    Sorry I can’t post the link, not sure how to cut and paste a URL on this IPad thingy.

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