Mayo County Council losing €40,000 a year on paid parking

September 5, 2012

But real losses could be over €600,000 warns local business leader

Mayo County Council has spent at least €200,000 more than it has earned from car parking charges since 2008, shock new figures reveal. The figures, released by Claremorris Chamber of Commerce ahead of crunch talks with the Council on paid parking in Claremorris and Ballinrobe, show the local authority is on target to lose at least €40,000 this year alone.

“The County Council would sooner throw town centres into an unmarked grave than admit they’re losing this money”, said Claremorris Chamber president Jimmy Flynn. “Since 2008, they’ve spent €163,000 more than they earned from paid parking. This year, a further €42,000 will be lost. That’s €205,000 wasted on collection costs in just five years”, he said.

The figures were calculated from an analysis of Mayo County Council’s published, adopted budgets for 2008 to 2012.

Traders in the two south Mayo towns have been battling the County Council for months for a fair deal on parking. They say giving one hour free parking on weekdays and free parking on Saturday would be like a magnet in drawing shoppers back to town centre shops. It would also help level the playing field with edge-of-town centres, which offer free parking.

In Westport and Swinford, the first hour of street parking every day is free and business leaders in Claremorris and Ballinrobe are baffled as to why there is a different rule for their towns. “The simple truth is the bureaucracy is fiddling while small business is burning”, said Jimmy Flynn. “Mayo County Council say they borrowed €4.5m to buy land and build car parks in Claremorris and Ballinrobe. If that’s being paid back over 10 years, it’s costing €570,000 a year. So, the real losses from paid parking could be as high as €610,000 a year. Why should our towns have to carry the can for that?”

Leaders from the two business organisations will meet the Council this Wednesday (5 September) in an effort to settle the issue. However, they have warned that they will not hesitate to escalate their action if a fair deal isn’t forthcoming.

Claremorris & Ballinrobe unite to fight madcap parking charges

June 20, 2012

Claremorris Chamber of Commerce and Ballinrobe BEO have united in an all-out campaign to force Mayo County Council to address the madcap parking rules and parking charges that are killing small business in the centre of our two towns.

We met the six County Councillors for Claremorris and Ballinrobe on Monday 12 June in Castlebar, where we outlined our demands. These are the first hour of parking free from Monday to Friday and free parking all day Saturday.

Every Councillor supported our demand and all are to meet County Council officials on 5 July to hammer out a deal. We’re determined to hold their feet to the fire and, to that end, have been using the media to ratchet up the pressure.

Chamber President Jimmy Flynn did a 13-minute interview with Tommy Marren on Mid-West Radio on Tuesday 19 June; and the story has been extensively covered in the local newspapers, including the Mayo News, Connaught Telegraph and Western People.

The powers-that-be know they have a fight on their hands and that we are determined to resolve this.

Businesses can rest assured that we will not rest until there is a fair deal on street parking in our town.

Free Parking everyday until 1pm in town carparks

December 15, 2011

Media Release
15 December 2011
Free Parking in Claremorris Town Car Parks until 1pm everyday from now until Christmas
Claremorris Chamber of Commerce has been informed by Mayo County Council that there will be free parking everyday until 1pm in Claremorris in all the Car Parks from December 15th until Christmas.  Eugene Waldron Chamber President wishes to acknowlege the work from Cllr . Richard Finn and Cllr. Tom Connolly in this regard.  So come to Claremorris and get your shopping done early and avail of the free parking.

10 minute FREE parking in Claremorris

September 9, 2011

Following on from the Shopping Survey conducted earlier in the year  the Chamber have been actively working with Mayo County Council to improve parking in the town centre.  There is now 10 minutes free parking on street in Claremorris before you need to purchase a ticket and once a ticket is purchased you are free to use it on any street in the town for the duration of the ticket.

Welcoming the news, Chamber President, Eugene Waldron said ” that the Chamber of Commerce wish to acknowledge Mayo County Council in granting 10 minutes on street free parking in the town.  This will assist in maintaining and increasing the footfall to the Town Centre”. In particular, the Chamber wish to thank the local councilors  – Cllr. Richard Finn and Cllr. Tom Connolly in this regard.

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