A CONSULTATION has been forced to look at changes to a playing field car park after it was discovered nobody had been asked about them.
During a Town Centre Management, Community and Localism panel meeting at Brentwood Council, a proposal was forwarded to bring in a new payment policy for the car park at King George’s Playing Field.
The plan would see a switch from the current set-up of allowing drivers to have three hours free parking and a £5 charge for longer stays to four hours free and £2 for longer stays.
When it was found out no consultation had been held over the plans, opposition councillors demanded one be held.
Although the Conservative administration agreed to this they have still been criticised over their handling of consultations.
Brentwood First group leader William Lloyd, who was present at the panel meeting, feels the item should have even been on the agenda.
He said: “The measures they are looking to change were only introduced in January last year and were done so after consulting park users and residents.
“A scheme should not be put in which might not work, so why after all the consulting and hard work last time should people not be asked this time?
“I’m not saying the changes will be better or worse or even opposing stuff for the sake of it, but there needs to be some logic to it.
“It might have been a breakdown in communication but it was an agenda item which should have not come up.”
Panel chairman Mark Reed confirmed a consultation asking if park users would like the changes to happen will be held.
Mr Reed said: “I am happy to accept the decision of the panel on the night. This is something that needs to be looked out where the public should be consulted.
“It is difficult because when I speak to residents, a number say to me ‘I elected you to make a decision, so don’t keep coming back to me’.
“So when it does come into Town Hall, discussions do get emotional, but we are trying to benefit residents and I think the plans for King George’s will be beneficial for park users.”