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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Pledge made to carry on battle against Cumbria on-street parking charges

CAMPAIGNERS say the fight against on-street parking charges “has only just begun”, despite the failure of a cross-party challenge.

Calls for Cumbria County Council to rethink its decision were yesterday rejected by the authority’s scrutiny board.

The decision to introduce on-street parking charges, in towns including Barrow, Ambleside and Windermere, has sparked protests amid claims town centres could be harmed.

The Conservative and Independent groups called in the decision in a bid to persuade the council’s decision-makers to think again. And despite the scrutiny board’s decision to uphold the original decision, opponents vowed to keep up the pressure.

Independent councillor Rob Betton said: “The battle has only just begun. I will keep fighting to get this decision sent back to the full council.”

New parking meters are to be introduced in 11 Cumbria towns to meet a £700,000 funding gap.

Trevor Allison, of the Independent group, said: “The impact on already fragile town centres could be devastating”.

Cllr Betton described the scheme as a “stealth tax”. He added: “At a time when full-time, well-paid jobs are very hard to find, this Labour-dominated cabinet will actually put at risk the livelihood of many of our constituents.”

James Airey, leader of the opposition Conservative group, claimed the council did not have a business case to back up the move.

He told cabinet members: “You have got this wrong and I would urge you to look at it again.”

Councillor Keith Little, cabinet member for highways, said the public was consulted as part of the authority’s budget proposals and rejected suggestions the majority were against on-street parking charges.

He said the move would bring benefits to communities, such as freeing up parking spaces and cutting congestion in town centres.

Local committees are set to agree which streets will have meters installed, subject to further consultation, next month.

The charges are then due to be introduced on a trial basis in December.

Have your say

You would think Barrow was some metropolis. Keith Little rejected suggestion the majority of people were not objecting to on-street parking charges! Is this the 99% of the populous of the local area not seeing this in some small print, or were not asked?
What has happened to minister Pickles about parking charges etc being cash cows?
I hope there is strict finance oversight on how the investment is to be justified. How many hundreds of thousands might the installation cost? Barrow town centre about to become more tumbleweed alley?

Posted by Barrie Bray on 10 June 2014 at 23:27

Councillor Keith Little & his pals are so out of touch with public feeling, the so called congestion Charge is a Pipe dream for the feeble minded, We are not in London? Get a grip & ask the community what it really wants, failing this I suggest a list be printed of those wishing to push this agenda through so that when the Next election is called, the public will at least be able to make a more Informed choice of just who really represents there wishes ? Publish & be damned but at least it will represent our community's! Lets have the Truth ?

Posted by Wally! on 10 June 2014 at 19:22

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