Town councillor’s parking claims challenged

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LOCAL councillor David May has been accused of “double standards” over parking problems associated with decant facilities for Montrose Sports Centre.

Fellow councillor Paul Valentine this week said that Councillor May and his Angus Alliance colleagues should have anticipated problems arising from increased parking around the temporary venues.

Councillor May has said, however, that all local councillors had the opportunity to raise potential issues before the proposed decant arrangements during the sports centre’s closure were voted through the full council.

Last week he highlighted the problems being experienced in Mill Street, particularly by vehicles entering and leaving Fordmill Nursing Home, due to careless parking by people using the nearby Showcase the Street dance studio. Larger vehicles were having difficulty negotiating their way along the street and Councillor May said he feared that emergency service vehicles could also be blocked when answering a call-out.

He referred the matter to the roads department which is now considering bringing in traffic orders to introduce double yellow lines to stretches of the street.

Councillor Valentine claimed that Councillor May, in his role of infrastructure services convener, should have been particularly aware of any problems that could arise.

He said: “Obviously those who have been forced to use other facilities in the town during the refit of the Sports Centre need to park where it is safe and will not cause any obstruction to others.

“However, as a resident of Montrose, Councillor May should be fully aware of the parking around the decanted facilities and, therefore, should have taken this into account when he and his Alliance administration drew up the plans for the decanted areas before voting to close the Montrose Sports Centre.

“What concerns me the most about this as a taxpayer is that, ironically, Mr May is also the Convener of Infrastructure Services where roads and parking form part of his remit.

“So why was he unable to foresee the problems which could occur at these temporary sports centres?”

Councillor May said all the local councillors had a shared responsibility to raise issues they had regarding the arrangements and he had taken action as soon as the situation was drawn to his attention.

He said: “All of us as councillors, including Paul Valentine, were aware that in order for the improvements to take place - which he approved - there was bound to be decanting to other areas and we all have a responsibility to try to avoid problems escalating.

“When it was brought to my notice that there were difficulties in Mill Street I immediately made contact with the roads staff who had a meeting with me to look at the difficulties.

“As a result traffic orders are being considered. At the same time, I’ve had a meeting with Inspector Cryle who is currently looking at what the police can do in the short term to overcome these difficulties.

“We all had the opportunity to make suggestions of what could be done as soon as we knew where the decants were going to be.”