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Free City Centre parking… for councillors.

The councillors voting to make YOU pay more to park in the city centre, park free 24 hours a day after drinking sessions!

Published on January 23rd 2007.

Free City Centre parking… for councillors.

In the midst of ridiculous parking proposals and complaints flying around from Manchester residents, businesses and visitors, we began to wonder just what the section of Lloyd Street that runs alongside the Town Hall was used for.

You know the road I mean. If you’re looking at the Town Hall from Albert Square, it’s on the right hand side, next to the annexe. It was closed off to public access a few years back, and a little birdy told us that the reason it was closed off was so that councillors could park their cars there, free of charge.

Being the inquisitive souls that we are, we emailed Sir Richard Leese to clear up a few things. Here is what we said:

Dear Sir Richard,
I am writing to you to request some information about Lloyd Street.
The section at the top of Lloyd Street - that runs between the Town Hall buildings - when exactly was this closed off to vehicle access, and for what purpose? Are Manchester City Councillors permitted to park their vehicles there?
We look forward to your reply.
Kind regards
Manchester Confidential

Unsurprisingly, we had no reply.

Then, our suspicions about Lloyd Street were strengthened when we received the following email from a somebody ‘in the know’ with the councillors. We do know the identity of the insider, but he has understandably chosen to remain anonymous:

With regard to your city centre parking furore, I think the council is very mistaken with its decision.
With particular regard to your question:5) If you use your motor car, where do you park?
As someone who used to date one of our ‘esteemed’ city councillors for some time, they get free and unlimited parking in Lloyd street (between the Town Hall & Town Hall Extension).
The particular closeted councillor (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty), would often park in the city centre for meetings at the Town Hall, drinking sessions in town, shopping etc and pick up the car the following day (as did quite a few other councillors).
As you are aware, employees of the council do not have any parking facilities.

Now we at Manchester Confidential obviously can’t comment as to whether this is true or false. But we do invite any councillors who would refute these claims to do so by emailing Gordo here.

Despite the fact that Sir Richard Leese hadn’t replied to our previous email, we thought that we would see if he had anything to say about these new allegations. And we wanted to know if there was any chance of us being able to close off the road outside the Manchester Confidential office so that we can all park there for free. Well why not? So, we sent this:

Dear Sir Richard,
Further to our previous email (which you have not yet managed to find the time to reply to), we have since been led to understand that the section of Lloyd Street in question is available for councillors to park their cars free of charge, and for an unlimited period of time.
The free parking spaces, we understand, are used by councillors not just for council meetings, but also for shopping and drinking sessions in town - after which the cars are left overnight on Lloyd Street and picked up in the morning. If this is not the case, then could you please tell me where councillors park their cars, and for what purpose this section of Lloyd Street has been closed down to public access?
You may be aware that the Manchester Confidential offices are located at the other end of Lloyd Street, above Livebait. We were wondering therefore, how to go about applying for our end of Lloyd Street to be closed off to through traffic and made available for Manchester Confidential staff to park their cars overnight for free?
We look forward to your reply.
Kind regards
Manchester Confidential

We were hopeful. Imagine, a free parking space right outside your work – somewhere to leave your car overnight when you fancy a few beers after work… magical. It really wouldn’t matter that the rest of Manchester were unable to find anywhere to leave their car when they went to the theatre, or to a restaurant.

Then, gloriously, we received this reply from Sir Richard himself:

Still researching the history of this but am also doing other things like the Council's budget that are slightly higher priority . Will get back to you in due course.

We think this means that he’s thinking about it.

If you disagree with the council’s parking proposals click here for more, make your voice heard by clicking here.

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AnonymousSeptember 2nd 2011.

So where are the councillors parking these days now the road is a building site, surely not paying on the streets with the rest of us?

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