THE lead member for parking admits the council was in error following confusion over parking permit charges.

At a virtual cabinet member on May 28, the lead member for parking, councillor David Cannon (Conservative: Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury) apologised to Royal Borough residents who received a letter informing them they need to apply for a new parking permit by July 31.

The charge for a parking permit is £50, with a second permit costing £70 and additional permits costing £100 which was approved in the 2020/21 budget back in February.

This measure hoped to raise the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) £250,000 per year.

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This letter caused confusion to locals across the borough who believed they would not have to renew their permit until its expiry date.

Speaking at the cabinet meeting, councillor Cannon said: “We have received legal advice that the council is in error and therefore I apologise for the confusion caused to residents by this mistake.

“I can state that residents' current parking permit will now remain in force until the current expiry date.

“Anybody who has paid for a permit before the end of their current permit will be reimbursed. All affected residents will be contacted advising them of this fact.

“A general communication will be issued tomorrow [May 29] advising everybody of the change to the system.

“The new fees will only now be applied at the renewal of the current free permit or for a new application. The revenue projected to be received from residents’ permits will now be received over two years rather than all in 2020.

“I again apologise for the confusion caused to residents.”

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The issue came to light after an investigation by councillor Amy Tisi (Liberal Democrat: Clewer East) – who was contacted by many concerned residents about the changes – and Adam Bermange, a Lib Dem activist in Boyn Hill.

They found RBWM does not have the power to revoke residents current free-of-charge permits and force them to purchase a new one under the Traffic Regulation Act of 1984.

Since then, they have demanded for councillor Cannon to give a public apology to residents and for all money collected to date to be refunded.

RBWM residents will now only be charged for a new permit when they are due to expire and anyone who has paid will be refunded.