One of the results of having a District Council where most of us councillors have grey hair (if we have any hair at all) is that very few of us have small children.
Currently the “very few” consists of Phil and Tracy Capon. It was Tracy who asked the council officers some months ago to look at the possibility of having some “Parent and Child” bays in our car parks.
Well, they’ve prepared a report on this, it comes up for debate on Tuesday night, and the officers are recommending… doing nothing. Apparently there are some spaces that could be widened into Parent and Child bays, but it would cost an estimated ?500 per bay (!) to adjust them, and then it might be a problem that they might be left empty when they could be occupied by non-parents.
Chris is on this committee. Any thoughts on what he should say? Is it prudent for the council to do nothing, or is this a sign of the council being out-of-touch?
Being a parent of two young children, one aged 4 and one aged 19 weeks, I find parent and child parking spaces invaluable. If the officers were to look at set up of different child seats and how they have to be fitted in cars they would understand that the average parking space does not allow you enough room to open doors and take your child in and out the car. I often find myself parking to one side of a normal bay to ensure that at least one side of my car has more room. This then means my little boy has to climb across the rear seat to get out, I have to lean over to strap him in, sometimes whislt my daughter is sitting in her car seat on the pavement wtih me constantly watching to make sure no cars are near us, and no one is near that could try and snatch either one of them. The extra space created by parent and child spaces just makes life so much easier, you can open one door, put one child in, go round put the other child in and then start putting straps and seatbelts on after, without worrying about other cars, and importanlty, without knocking other peoples cars with your car doors, its really annoying when you take pride in your car and find someone has put a nice dent in the side because they have been careless, but looking at the amount of cars with child seats, you can see how it happens, before we had children my husband never parked next to a car with child seats, for the very reason that he never felt the spaces were big enough. Now we are parents, we are the owners of a car that some people avoid parking next to ! If officers want people to use local shops they have to think of all ages, if you go to large supermarkets they always have areas for parent and children, so why should a town centre be different.