The elected memebrs of the West Mayo Municipal District this week once again insisted that there would be no introduction of on street parking charges in the district and added that the district should not see its budget affected because of their decision not to introduce the charges to the town in the area.
Cathoirleach of the district, Cllr Christy Hyland told the meeting, which was the first to be chaired by the new director of services for the area, Tom Gilligan that "parking charges are off the table and won't be entertained by the members." He was supported fully by the other six councillors who were at the meeting, with Fianna Fáil Cllr Brendan Mulroy a long time campaigner against the introduction of the charges saying that while council officials might not like the stance taken by councillors, they would have to accept it, because it was a reserved function of the elected members to introduce such charges.
Fine Gael Cllr Theresa McGuire supporting the stance of the other councillors added that there had to a be a proper look at parking in the town of Westport as a whole as part of this process, to ensure that the people did not take advantage of the lack of on street parking charges and park all day in places. She said the issue in regards to loading bays in particular needed to be looked at.
Independent Cllr Michael Holmes added that it would not be accepted that the area would could see a cut in its budget for the area because of the lack of income from on street parking, because there were plenty of small towns and villages in the area, where on-street parking charges were never an issue or a factor and it would be unfair to see them hit because of something that had nothing to do with them. Sinn Féin Cllr Rose Conway Walsh agreed with Cllr Holmes' point and said she did not want to see the issue being used at budget time against the district.