Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Parking Charges

It was interesting to see in the media at the weekend that a Government minister commented that high parking charges were killing town centres and needed to be urgently reduced rather than being used as a cash cow by local authorities.

Hardly cutting edge thinking - rather a statement of the obvious, and one of the reasons that in 6 of my 7 budgets as Council Leader we froze car parking charges. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the Rainbow Coalition who introduced heavy increases last year, something that I have commented on previously.

At the consultation meeting for local businesses as part of the budget process Council leader Ron Woodley was warned of the danger of his proposed increases at a time when the High Street was in a critical condition. He accepted the plight of the High Street but refused to reconsider the hike in charges. He said that he would think of new support for the Town Centre in the budget next April - perhaps he didn't expect to be responsible for putting it together!

Well let's see but as the High Street continues to struggle more delay and excuses will not be acceptable and perhaps our local Administration should listen to the advice at the weekend and freeze if not reduce parking charges.

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