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BUDAPEST ASSEMBLY VOTES TO PUT PARKING BACK INTO HANDS OF LOCAL COUNCILS

 

The Budapest assembly decided on Wednesday that local council service providers will be exclusively authorised to oversee parking fees and collect fines. The proposal submitted by Mayor Gergely Karácsony was approved with 18 votes in favour, one against and 13 abstentions, and will be implemented next July. The amendment to parking regulations also involves reducing the number of parking meters.
Also, the assembly unanimously voted to support measures proposed by the mayor to improve winter care of the city’s homeless. The measures include the coordinated disinfection of night shelters, ensuring accessibility to care facilities and increasing the number of active recovery beds. The assembly has approved 47 million forints (EUR 140,000) for the project. The assembly, however, rejected a proposed survey of capacity for emergency winter placement of elderly homeless people needing care in old people’s homes run by the municipality.
The assembly also voted unanimously to support plans to host the 2023 World Athletics Championships, in return for the government’s meeting conditions the city set earlier. One of the city’s preconditions is that the planned new stadium in District 9 to host the events should be constructed as a facility that serves local participant sports and could be used for cultural events, too, as part of a recreational park. Another condition is that the government should increase the budget for the Healthy Budapest Programme by at least 50 billion forints (EUR 150m) to improve the districts’ health services. Further, with a view to expanding green spaces in the city, work should begin on the afforestation project through creating at least 100 hectares of greenland. The city also expects the government to meet earlier, contracted obligations with regard to public transport, and start recultivation of brown zone sites.
The assembly has authorised Karácsony to negotiate with the government concerning the planned world championships and give briefings on his talks. Karácsony said the city was seeking “a good compromise” and argued that “we should listen to not only sports people but also to voters that think that too much has been spent on competitive sports and too little on health care”. The mayor praised the government for its willingness to accept the municipal assembly’s position on the subject. He added, however, that the government should confirm in writing its commitments made earlier to István Tarlós, his predecessor in the mayoral post. He said the city was “sceptical about the future” but it would “give cooperation with the government a chance”.