PROPOSAL Westport Fine Gael councillor, Tereasa McGuire.
Westport Fine Gael councillor Tereasa McGuire feels there are alternative options available to raise the funds needed by Mayo County Council from parking charges in Westport town.
Cllr McGuire said there is an ‘incorrect perception’ amongst some in the county that the West Mayo area is not ‘pulling its weight’
“Far from pressing to harm Westport through the introduction of pay and display, I suggest consideration should be given to a rates rebate to recognise the benefits we bring to other parts of the county.
“The pressure for Pay and Display parking is one of the reasons I opposed the Manager’s budget estimates. However, as my two Westport council colleagues voted for the manager’s estimate and committed our town to raising the required amount from Pay and Display parking, we are to some extent stuck with the situation where we have to find the money. This can be done. I propose the following:
Increase the cost of parking in car parks to €5 per day, €1 per hour and 50c thereafter. Allow 52 free Sundays, 10 free holidays, 26 free days at Christmas and allow three goodwill days. This leaves 54 peak days in July and August and 220 off peak days. With circa 470 parking spaces in the car parks, if we allow 100 for businesses, there are 370 available spaces. The 54 days in high season July and August, with full occupancy, will yield €99,900 to €100,000. The 220 off-peak days, with a 50 percent occupancy (185 spaces at €5 per day), will yield €203,500. Allowing permits for 100 business permits at €250 per annum, yields €25,000.
“This €100,000 and €203,000 and €25,000 gives an income of €328,000, leaving a shortfall of €27,000, as compared to the management proposals seeking €355,000.
“However, my proposals are assuming all users park for the full day at €5. In reality car park usage is far more fluid and much of the parking is one or two hours, which will raise the required €27,000.
“This will provide the money required by management. We can then focus on bye-laws, particularly the pink and blue zones that will deliver improvement for Westport and avoid the harm that would result from pushing through pay and display. Westport is a magnet for Mayo and we should do nothing to decrease its attractiveness,” concluded Cllr McGuire.