The Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Regeneration and Strategic Partnerships presented a report on the subject of the adoption of cashless payment systems and operational procedures for Recreation Road South Car Park and Churchfield Multi-Storey Car Park.
Cabinet was reminded that in November 2020 Members had approved a five-year investment plan for the Council’s car parks, including agreement to enter into negotiations with ASDA to lease the Recreation Road South Car Park. Unfortunately, these options had fallen through, so the Council had had to explore alternative options for management of this car park. Following the successful launch of the MiPermit cashless payment app in Bromsgrove, it had been concluded that it would be a good time to extend the cashless payment option to payment machines in the Council’s car parks. This followed on from proposals detailed in the report considered in November 2020, which had concluded that when the Council replaced the relatively old ticket machines in Bromsgrove car parks, consideration should be given to introducing a cashless payment system.
Prior to drafting the report in respect of cashless payments, Officers had completed an equality impact assessment. As part of this process, consultation had been undertaken with users of the Council’s car parks in order to obtain their views about the cashless payment option. The results revealed that whilst 62 per cent of users would use the cashless option 38 per cent had indicated that they would not be open to using a cashless payment system. This indicated that a cash payment option needed to remain available to customers. The proposals detailed in the report reflected the need to retain an option for payments by cash alongside the introduction of a cashless system. The exception to this would be Churchfields Multi-Storey Car Park, where only cashless payment systems would be made available and there would be no payment machines, due to concerns regarding historic trends in terms of vandalism in the car park.
Following the presentation of the report, Members discussed the financial costs detailed in the report and action that had already been undertaken in terms of expenditure on upgrading the Council’s car parks. Officers explained that the tables in the report detailed expenditure to date as well as the planned expenditure in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 financial years. The works detailed in the five-year plan were due to be completed by 2024/25. Cabinet was advised that whilst the Council received approximately £1 million income per year in car parking revenue, the authority was also responsible for maintaining the car parks and there were financial costs associated with this work.
Reference was made to the location of the Recreation Road South and Parkside car parks. Officers clarified the location of these car parks and confirmed that they were owned by Bromsgrove District Council. Whilst the Council had allocated budgets to the works that would be undertaken in these car parks, this would not be spent on remedial works on the highways, which remained the responsibility of Worcestershire ... view the full minutes text for item 43