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 One other Gwent council will use Welsh Government'
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Posted - 14/11/2017 :  12:55:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One other Gwent council will use Welsh Government's car parking grantant for additional “financial priorities and cost pressures
Source: SouthWalesArgus

ANOTHER Gwent council has confirmed that, alongside Newport, it also used a Welsh Government grant intended for parking schemes for other matters.

Mark Drakeford AM, the cabinet secretary for finance, announced last year that Welsh councils would receive a share of £3m to support town centre parking schemes.

Last week, the Argus revealed that Newport City Council had used the grant of £142,000 to fund other services in the city.

Of the remaining Gwent councils, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council received the lowest grant amount of £69,000.

A council spokeswoman confirmed that the grant has been used to cover additional “financial priorities and cost pressures”.

“The funding referred to did not come to the council as a specific grant for town centre parking, and forms part of the overall funding settlement from Welsh Government,” she said.

“In Blaenau Gwent we have built the money into our budget planning in line with current financial priorities and cost pressures.”

Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale, Caerphilly County Borough Council received the highest amount of the five Gwent local authorities - £170,000 - and has confirmed how it would be using the funds.

A Caerphilly council spokesman said: “CCBC is using the funding for a review of the council’s car parking strategy and the development of a business case for Civil Parking Enforcement.

“A review of the council’s existing Traffic Regulation Orders is also anticipated.”

The two remaining Gwent councils - Monmouthshire County Council and Torfaen County Borough Council – received £85,000 and £84,000 respectively and have also used the funds towards parking schemes.

A Monmouthshire council spokesman said that although the grant was not specifically reserved for parking measures, it will be used to that end following a review last year.

“The grant was included within the Revenue Support Grant so it was not explicitly earmarked for car parking,” he said.

“However, the council completed a major review of car parking in 2016 including a review of what should be designated as short stay, long stay and free car parks.

“Funds were also put aside to create new car parks and to modernise the existing car park facilities.”

Finally, Torfaen council confirmed that the funding would be used to allow the authority to continue to offer residents and visitors parking free of charge.

A Torfaen council spokesman said: “The contribution from Welsh Government will allow us to continue to provide free car parking for residents and visitors in Torfaen.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said, “A £3m fund has been made available to all local authorities in Wales to explore the potential benefits that free car parking, or wider strategies, can have in supporting the regeneration of our towns and cities.

“We recognise however that different approaches exist to support the vitality and viability of town centres and we respect that this funding will be used in varying ways in line with local considerations.”

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