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Wick Community Council Asks Highland council To Halt Parking Charges Consultation Due To Coronavirus

17th March 2020

" Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council have sent the following to Highland Council with regards to Offstreet Car Parking Charges Consultation:

Developments have been moving fast over the weekend with regards to what to do and not what to do with regards to the CoronaVirus Covid-19. At this moment in time we are unchartered territory and we do not know what additional recommendations are going to be coming in.

With reference to the introduction of the opt out scheme for Offstreet Car Parking Charges Currently we are part way through a consultation with the Public Consultation due to commence on 20/03/2020 for East Caithness.

As part of this consultation there are meetings to be scheduled and drop in centres due to take place, not only here in the Royal Burgh of Wick, but in many areas which are separately taking place the the Highland Council Region. We now believe it would not be in the best interests of the Public Health to arrange additional meetings and discussions whereby bringing people together potentially increases the chances of exposure to the disease and increase the chance of spread and the potential unthinkable consequences.

We believe that to complete the consultation without the possibility of the drop in centres and proposed meetings shall not be in fitting of the consultation again not just here in this Burgh, but also up and down the Region.

We the Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council formally ask Highland Council to place on hold the consultation or cancel it for the foreseeable future. We realise that this is a statutory process, however when it comes to the Health of the Public and Highland Council employees that this statutory process can be reviewed.

Further by placing this on hold or cancelling the process this would free up resources within Highland Council staff and personnel to focus on more important needs that shall be coming to light in the days and weeks ahead.

RBWCC are not alone in having these thoughts over the past few days.

Postponing or cancelling the process is the last thing we wished to do as this very unsettling for many retailers, business's, residents and employees alike, but in these scary times ahead focusing on health is of more importance.

To sum up, due to the current public situation, it would only be a sensible solution to delay as any public consultation can not go ahead at this present time.