CONTROVERSIAL parking discs could be removed in Gourock and Greenock.

Councillors on the environment and regeneration committee have voted in favour of a public consultation to ascertain people's views on whether the discs should remain or be scrapped.

Councillor Chris McEleny wants the system binned in Gourock and made a formal request at the meeting.

After a debate, it was decided that consideration should also be given to getting rid of discs in Greenock as well.

SNP councillor Mr McEleny believes Gourock - and other parts of the district - should be on a par with Kilmacolm, where the disc scheme ended in January.

Speaking at the meeting, he said: "In Gourock, 10 times more PCNs (penalty charge notices) are issued than in Kilmacolm.

"At the moment it's clear that people are more likely to get a PCN in Gourock than in any other part of Inverclyde.

"It's just not a fair system."

Cllr McEleny stressed that removing the need to display a disc wouldn't change rules regarding how long people can park but argued it would make the system fairer.

Council leader Stephen McCabe said that a full and thorough public consultation would have to be carried out before any decisions are made.

The Labour councillor said: "Before we make a final decision we have to take on board people's views.

"I think we should be asking people before we make a decision, as we did in Kilmacolm."

Independent councillor Ronnie Ahlfeld said the feedback from the local traders and residents in Gourock, who make up a local regeneration forum, is that while they agree that the discs should be removed, some sort of enforcement should remain in the lower Kempock Street car park.

The committee agreed to order officials to launch a consultation with the community over the removal of parking discs in Gourock town centre.

After that is completed a further consultation is to be carried out on the impact of removal in Greenock, to gather the views of the community.