Car parking charges haven’t gone up in Huddersfield and Holmfirth – yet.

Kirklees Council published a public notice which said that charges for on-street and off-street car parking would go up “from Monday February 19.” However, no increases will be introduced in the immediate future and no date has been set.

The council has now said that a 21-day period of ‘non-statutory public consultation’ has been held over parking charge rises – but few people seem to know about it.

The public notice published in the Huddersfield Examiner on January 19 lists all the proposed increases car park by car park and street by street in Huddersfield – but makes no mention of any public consultation.

The council also says notices were put up in car parks and near ticket machines but it’s not known if they mentioned the consultation either.

The council’s Liberal Democrat leader Clr John Lawson (Cleckheaton) said the Labour-run Cabinet was “playing fast and loose” with public consultation and added: “The parking fees issue has so far mirrored the chaotic, unclear nature of the other cuts and closures over the last few months.

“The Cabinet needs to be open and accountable with the public and this is not what it looks like.”

The public notice (above) said: “The new charges will come into force from Monday 19th February 2024.” But now the council is saying no decisions have been taken.

In a statement Clr Aafaq Butt, Cabinet member for culture and greener Kirklees, said: “Before any fee increase is implemented we had to complete a non-statutory consultation period, where public notices were displayed in all our parking places and in local papers, with a 21-day feedback period.

“This has now ended and we are reviewing the feedback before making a decision that is right for each area at a local level.

“These decisions will be presented at Cabinet Committee Local Issues, before any price increases are brought into effect.

“All signage will be updated in our car parks and on our machines at the start of the increase.”

At last week’s full council Clr Butt said a public consultation would be launched before the end of February on plans to end free parking in 57 car parks across Kirklees. Read what was said HERE.

Councillors opposed to the imposition of charges in towns and villages such as Lindley, Honley, Meltham, Almondbury, Mirfield and Cleckheaton are watching closely to ensure the public gets the opportunity to take part in the public consultation.

Clr Lawson added: “Residents and businesses in places like Cleckheaton need to have clear, consistent information and a chance to express their concerns in a straightforward way.

“We are not convinced that new parking charges are being evidenced fully or that people’s lives are being taken into account in a meaningful way.”