Wednesday 19 December 2018

Dearey calls for second legal opinion on pay parking

Olivia Ryan

A Louth Councillor has called for the local authority to seek a second legal opinion on pay parking bye laws.

A resolution by Green Party Councillor, Mark Dearey at the monthly meeting of Louth County Council, that the members seek a second legal opinion on the safety of parking bye laws in Drogheda was seconded by Cllr Kevin Callan and approved unanimously by the members.

'Under Section 132 of the 2001 Local Government Act, members are entitled to a second legal view on any matter in which they have a reserved function , such as the passing of bye laws,' said Cllr. Dearey.

Explaining his reasons for moving the resolution, Cllr Dearey pointed out that at the April meeting he had asked the Chief Executive, Joan Martin, to share the initial legal view on which she based her decision to suspend pay parking in the town, with a loss in revenue to the county of over €300,000.

The legal advice was not shared with the councillors at the meeting.

Cllr Dearey went on to point to the 'significant budgetary implications' and to the fact that an 'unsatisfactory law is not necessarily an inoperable one.' He also queried 'how a bye law is unsafe to operate now, while at the same time being safe from challenges to previous fines which the CE asserts is the case?'

Speaking after the meeting Cllr. Dearey said 'Without seeing the legal note which the CE has, we are in the dark on these valid questions and it is not helpful that such a key decision is taken without a proper explanation, given the impact the revenue loss will have on our ability to serve the community.'

Concluding his comments Dearey thanked the members for their support in the matter and said he 'looked forward to seeing the second opinion whatever it may recommend.'

The Argus