Dickson leads Committee to reject Minister’s ineffective arguments to increase car parking charges

Alliance Regional Development spokesperson Stewart Dickson MLA has led the DRD Committee to reject the Minister for Regional Development’s plans to increase car parking charges and penalties. Mr Dickson has said he was not opposed to the increases but the Minister did not make an effective argument for it to happen and his plans were not thought through. If the Minister proposes the same plans to the Committee then the Committee could lay a motion in the Assembly to oppose these plans.

Stewart Dickson MLA said: “I am not opposed to increasing these charges and penalties but the Minister in his briefing to the Committee today did not make an effective case for it to go ahead.

“I do not believe that these proposals were well thought out. He probably thought the Committee would just rubber stamp his plans but we are here to thoroughly scrutinise all Departmental actions and if we do not think that they have brought effective proposals then we will reject them.

“The Minister himself has previously queried the increase in car parking charges, so it does not make sense for us to support something that he is not completely in agreement with. There are also problems in that there is no consistency in charges across Northern Ireland, this should have been addressed in his proposals. His plans would have allowed him to implement charges for car parks that are currently free as technical they are not free, merely the charge is zero. He has also not stated how he will make the penalty system more efficient.

“The other parties on the committee supported my proposal to reject these plans, the Minister’s own party member did not even oppose this. These plans do not currently have enough support in the Assembly to be passed so the Minister will have to change his proposals and come back to the Committee. I hope he will be able to make an effective case for us to support him.”


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