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Scarborough

Post by Steve »

By jmick

In light of my last review, I have emailed the MP for Whitby and copied in one of Scarborough BC's Labour Councillors. I have also attached a photo I took of a very empty Whitby car park 😐. This the text of my email - I will report back any reply I receive.

I would like to ask a few questions, if I may, as a frequent visiting holidaymaker to this beautiful part of our world. (NB I am also a member of CAMpRA (Campaign for Real Aires), and will therefore pass on any reply to this Group for their use):

1. Are the current restrictions regarding overnight parking of/sleeping in motorcaravans in Scarborough BC car parks going to be reviewed at some point in the near future?

2. In light of the changing circumstances of many businesses up and down the country during the last 16 months, can Scarborough BC justify losing so much potential income by not allowing overnight parking (+sleeping) and all the attendant local spending power of motorcaravan owners?

3. Would Scarborough BC consider allowing motorcaravan overnight parking (+ sleeping) in some (not necessarily all) SBC car parks on certain weeknights/months, with a reasonable overnight fee, as a compromise to the current blanket overnight ban?

I am attaching a photograph of Whitby's Marina Back Car & Coach park taken on the evening of Wednesday 12 May (as you can see - empty apart from a handful of cars). This is an example of many very large car parks up and down the UK that could provide overnight parking for motorcaravans.

In summary: The increasing number of motorcaravans that are on the road signifies a change in the way couples, individuals and families now take their holidays. This is following in the wake of the European trend which has been encouraged (and facilitated via Aires and parking) on the Continent for many years. This trend is neither diminishing nor going to go away - many owners spending tens of thousands of pounds on their vehicles. Small steps by forward thinking Councils around the UK have meant that some areas are now recognising this, and have made overnight parking+sleeping parking bays available. If more Councils, such as Scarborough BC, do not follow suit, many of the staycationers of 2020/21 (& their spending power) may revert to travelling on the Continent again when Covid travel restrictions are lifted - mainly due to feeling unwelcome in their own Country's holiday resorts and places of interest.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my questions and views. I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards
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Re: Scarborough

Post by Madwitch »

According to "This is the Coast", Scarborough BC are considering allowing motorhomes to use council car parks overnight. Here is the reply from Cllr Bill Chatt:

Hi Carolyn
I would like scarborough council to work with the motor home uses who visit our coast daily,
Their has been too much bad press in recent years and a proposal to allow mobile homes to use a council car park over night in Whitby was turned down.
I do find people have a poor impression of mobile home uses visiting the coast.
About spends and how waste is dealt with.
But I find people do spend well and are responsable mostly,
Mobile home owners do not have a person who speaks on their behalf apart from the local press and the bad story’s that are shared on face book with the negative views local residents who may not have a view join in on the negativity.
I wonder how we can change that view?
But I do support people visiting the coast as a day out to staying for a week.
This would be about winning hearts and minds
Best
Bill

I have of course offered CAMpRA's services.
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Re: Scarborough

Post by Jmick »

Here is my reply from Robert Goodwill MP. Sadly, the actions of the very few motorcaravanners are colouring the view of this Local Authority - they just don't seem to want us spending our cash overnight in their car parks and local businesses 😕. Here is the text of his reply (NB I'll reply stating I'm passing the info on to CAMpRA, and also have another 'go' - maybe mentioning their Park and Ride (citing Dartmouth and Canterbury as positive examples)....again, won't hold my breath!:

Dear Janet
Thank you for your email of the 13th of May. There are a large number of caravan, camper van sites around the constituency which not only offer excellent facilities such as toilet, shower blocks and shopping in some cases but also give the caravan or motorhome owner the security of knowing that they are on an established site.

We have in the past had problems with over night camping including people disposing of the contents of chemical toilets in a n inconsiderate way, and causing other problems for local residents.

Whilst I completely understand the reasoning behind your email, I believe the council is acting reasonably in imposing restrictions on overnight parking, and would encourage you should you visit our area to use one of the established sites, where you will be able to use the facilities there and contribute to the local economy.

Yours sincerely

Rt Hon Robert Goodwill Mp
Scarborough and Whitby
6 Albemarle Crescent
Scarborough
YO11 1XS
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Re: Scarborough

Post by Jmick »

Update to my previous post - I have sent this reply/suggestion to Mr Goodwill:

Dear Mr Goodwill

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my email regarding lack of motorcaravan overnight parking in your constituency. I have passed on your reply to CAMpRA (Campaign For Real Aires).

Could I please press you a little further if I may?

Would Scarborough BC possibly consider the demarcation of a small number of parking bays in the Whitby Park and Ride for overnight parking+sleeping? Canterbury City Council and South Hams, Devon are just two examples of an increasing number of Local Authorities who are providing this amenity (Canterbury has in fact been successfully doing this for a number of years). They all charge a varying rate for this amenity (anywhere between £5 and £15 per night), and have a 24hr or 48hr rule with no return within a week. Some have water/waste facilities, some parking only. All are well used, monitored by existing parking attendants/cameras and are an asset to their area. Surely this could be a compromise to the overnight ban throughout the Borough?

Motorcaravanners by the nature of their vehicle are 'true tourers', often not staying in a place for more than one night. I understand your suggestion re the use of local campsites. Unfortunately, these days, many campsites offer two/three night minimum stays only, and very often 'full week bookings only' in the main summer months and school holidays. These are all reasons why motorcaravanners often find it difficult to book a pitch for one night only. (Obviously where campsites offer one night bookings we try to avail ourselves of these if at all possible.)

The members of CAMpRA would really love to see Scarborough BC making the most of some empty car park spaces in creating income for the area, whilst also providing safe places for motorcaravanners to park overnight.

The instances you cite of some conducting themselves badly are not indicative of the motorcaravanners I know (and am).
I would be so grateful if you could please look into the above Park and Ride suggestion. Motorcaravanners are neither the enemy nor pariahs - they are more often than not just tourists wanting to spend time (and money) in the UK's beautiful resorts and places of interest.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards.

Janet Micklethwaite
(Member of CAMpRA)
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Re: Scarborough

Post by Madwitch »

Janet - depending on what sort of response you get next time, might be worth writing again as he obviously doesn't understand motorhomes.

Firstly, does he have proof that motorhomes disposed of chemical toilet waste - it is often a misconception by those who don't understand how they work, that grey waste is toilet waste. Whilst I don't condone dumping grey waste on car parks we do tend to get blamed for a lot of things because it is easy.

Also point out to him why campsites are not suitable - check those around you, find out if they are open all year, how far out of town they are etc.

Just something to have up your sleeve ...
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Re: Scarborough

Post by Jmick »

Robert Goodwill replied, and I'm still waiting to hear back from a Labour member of the Scarborough BC. I'll chase that up next week (attaching Robert Goodwill's email thread). Here is his final reply:

Dear Janet

Thank you for your further email. Could we suggest that you contact your own MP and he can make representations on your behalf. We are only able to deal with our own constituents and as we haven’t had anyone requesting that car parks should be used for overnight stays, in fact quite the reverse, we haven’t written to the council. Possibly if you are a caravan club you could write as a group and see what the response is.

Mr Goodwill is actually meeting with the Cayton Caravan and Motorhome club on Monday, so will ask this question to them and listen to what they have to say on the issue.

Kind regards
Office of Robert Goodwill MP
Scarborough and Whitby
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Re: Scarborough

Post by Jmick »

I forwarded my original email (& photo of the empty car park) to Cllr Bill Chatt Scarborough BC. Maybe everyone who is interested in this topic could send their own email to a member/members of Scarborough BC? In the meantime, I'll try to get an email address mailshot list together and will post it on here - but I think more than a handful of voices are needed to be heard now to get this any further 👍 Here is Cllr Bill Chatt's reply this morning:

Hi Janet

I totally think SBC needs to support the motor home community.
But at this time the labour and independent lead council are not listening.
I know the North Yorkshire enquire has been campaigning with a mr Andy strangway
And even got Whitby town council on board, but Scarborough council refused to listen.
I don’t think the car park out side of the coop would be suitable for over night parking in Whitby.
But their is a suitable car park at Whitby Abby that would be ideal.
Remember car parking in Whitby raises a vast sum of money for Scarborough council.
But I suggest you canvas Scarborough council members too see who supports allowing over night on our car park?
I think as a limited use of the car parks I personally could give it my support?
Best
Bill
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Re: Scarborough

Post by Jmick »

After sending my email to over 40 SBC Councillors, I have so far received 4 replies: two very positive. One, in fact, saying that SBC are addressing/reviewing the matter and hoping to have an answer very soon, whilst another from Cllr Abbott stating: "This has been going on for a long time, not only with SBC also NYC
The law on motor homes comes under :- Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960.
Sorry it’s short, until changes are made to the act it is Law."


I've obviously challenged him on this, citing many other Local Authorities/Councils up and down the country who have managed to circumvent "the law on motorhomes" as he put it, and asking him for a more comprehensive answer as to SBC's stance on this 1960 Act.

I now realise why some Councillors carry on being evasive on this point. They just hope you get fed up with meeting a brick wall and fade away 🙁.
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Re: Scarborough

Post by Steve »

Local Authorities are exempt from requiring a site license on their land under the Caravan Sites Control of Development Act 1960.

I would advise him of that since he has quoted the act.

If you want to press it ask him to please provide you with a copy of the government guidance that states the sleeping in a self contained motorcaravan (a licensed motor vehicle) is camping ?

Councils have the authority under the 1983 model standards for touring caravan sites as instructed by the secretary of state, to consider the intended use of the site when deciding which sections of the act to apply.

As the intended use is parking and sleeping with no external equipment, no camping the council can amend the model standards to suit the intended use.
The council are wholly responsible for implementing and enforcing the legislation.

CAMpRA suggestions on model standards suitable for Self contained motorcaravans (Aires) are available on our business hub with the corresponding professional fure safety report.

https://campra.org.uk/wp-content/upload ... 0Wales.pdf

https://campra.org.uk/wp-content/upload ... quired.pdf

https://campra.org.uk/wp-content/upload ... ed%201.pdf
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Re: Scarborough

Post by Jmick »

Thanks Steve. I've already replied to him asking for a more comprehensive answer re the 1960 Act - citing other Councils/LAs up and down the country who have managed to circumvent this 'law' by providing parking of and sleeping in 'vans overnight. Also mentioned re Councils having prerogative to issue Exemptions to sports club grounds, pubs etc, who wish to provide this type of overnight parking (with constraints). I also BCC'd the two Councillors who sent me their much more positive replies. I feel like us motorcaravanners may be piggy in the middle with this Council unfortunately. My 'question' is submitted to their next Full Council meeting to be addressed (hopefully 🙄) - this is taking place the first week in July.
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