THE Cabinet member responsible for parking charges in council car parks has apologised for allowing a report to be published which put forward massive charging increases.

There was an angry reaction when it was revealed this week that some charges could increase by more than 500% as a result of the changes.

Geoff Brown, Cabinet member for transport, said it was an oversight by him that he did not notice that the charges in a report going to a committee had been marked as ‘proposed’.

This is despite the word “proposed” being used 23 times in the seven-page report which is due to go to the economic growth and development overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday. The report also features the word “proposal/s” seven times.

Cllr Brown had claimed that the table which showed the “proposed” changes had erroneously been published with the title “proposed charges”. He claimed this had been a “computer error”.

But when asked why he hadn’t also spotted the reference to the “proposed charges” in the written report he said it was “an oversight”.

He said: “The use of the words proposed charges is wrong throughout the whole report. It should have been indicative charges.

“We are looking to try and move from 123 different charges across Cornwall to a series of seven bands.”

He explained that officers had drawn up the “indicative” charges on a basis of creating new bands which had increases of 10p which he said had been “reasonable”.

He said: “Clearly the message I am getting from members is that they are not happy with it.

“It maybe that the charges are right but we need to adjust the bandings.”

Cllr Brown said he had written to the other 122 councillors to explain that the charges are “indicative” and are not a proposal.

He said that in their current form he would not support them and said a revised paper would now be going to the scrutiny committee when it meets on Tuesday.

However Cllr Brown admitted that he is shown reports before they can be published online and said he had been given the report in question.

He said that it was a case of “hands up” and that he hadn’t considered the full details of the report. He added that it was “an oversight on my part and a genuine mistake on the officers’ part”.

When asked why he hadn’t noticed the word “proposed” throughout the seven-page report he said: “I didn’t see it, I should have done, but hopefully we have addressed it now.”

He added: “When we do go to consultation at least we know that we will get a good amount of feedback from the public.”