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More free parking plan

Free parking in Bognor Regis town centre until 2022 is moving closer.


Arun district councillors want to put the current annual deal for the two-hour charge-free stays into a three-year package.


But their attempt to make the decision this week was foiled by the rules about council agendas.


The call for the longer agreement between Arun and the Bognor Regis Business Improvement District (BID) was agreed at last Thursday’s environment and leisure working group.


It was treated as an urgent item because of need for the BID to print the latest discs which motorists buy for £2 to entitle them to the free parking in the Hothamton, Lyon Street and Fitzleet car parks.


But the closeness of Wednesday’s full council meeting meant there was too little time for the decision to be published at least five days before.


It is now up to the cabinet member for technical services, Cllr Matt Stanley, to urgently decide the matter.


Nigel Lynn, the council’s chief executive, said: “We are talking about a matter which is not on the agenda this evening. The only issue is around the timing for the BID to print things.”


Arun group head of council advice and monitoring officer Liz Futcher said: “I appreciate at that meeting (the working group) there was this urgent item but, unfortunately, nobody brought it up with myself or Mr Lynn.


The only place an urgent item can be brought up is at the start of the meeting. It is up to Cllr Stanley to make that decision as a cabinet member.”


Cllr David Edwards (C, Felpham E) said: “We all agree with this. I don’t think anybody is going to say no. The problem we have is that it’s a problem for the BID because they are going to print and our meeting in January is too late for them.”


Cllr Jim Brooks (I, Marine) said: “The BID need to have certainty going forward so they can properly invest in the scheme.”


The 2020 disc has been agreed and will be on sale next month. The scheme is a joint venture between Arun and Bognor Regis councils and the BID.

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