A Labour councillor has called on the council to relax its “punitive” parking permit rules – and she won a pledge from the ruling Greens to revisit the issue.
Amanda Grimshaw, who represents Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, spoke up for dozens of staff at Coombe Road Primary School.
Green councillor Amy Heley, who has responsibility for parking, offered a concession and suggested further discussion should take place with officials.
Councillor Grimshaw spoke out as Brighton and Hove City Council prepared to bring in a “light touch” parking scheme in the Coombe Road and Bear Road area at the start of December.
She told a meeting of the full council today (Thursday 22 October) that the school had just two parking permits allocated by Brighton and Hove City Council – but more than 30 staff.
They were being discouraged from using public transport and sharing cars because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Councillor Grimshaw said: “Coombe Road School and its staff are facing a difficult choice of which of their 11 teachers will be able to access on of their two allocated parking permits.
“In the middle of the covid pandemic, where using alternative public transport routes is being discouraged and car-sharing is no longer an option, surely the council could relax its punitive school permit rules to allow more of the school’s 11 teachers, three learning mentors, 10 teaching assistants, three admin staff, one welfare officer, one site manager, two cleaners and two out-of-hours club supervisors to be able to safely keep our local school open even if only to get us through the pandemic?”
Councillor Grimshaw also asked for a policy review to allow learning mentors and teaching assistants to apply for permits, too.
Councillor Heley, who chairs the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said that the school would have access to four permits rather than two.
She agreed that there was an issue with the policy and invited Councillor Grimshaw to join discussions with the council’s parking team.
The new controlled parking zone – known as Zone U – has been designated after requests from residents and comes into force on Tuesday 1 December.
The problems in the Bear Road and Coombe Road area came to a head after a controlled parking zone was created in Hanover, leading to displacement.
A public consultation was held and 67 per cent of residents who responded voted for a “light touch” scheme, from 10am to 11am and 5pm to 6pm Monday to Friday.