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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Protests hit streets as charges for Barrow on-street parking close in

THE potential cost and zones for Barrow town centre on-street parking charges have been decided.

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DEMONSTRATION Protesters outside Barrow Town Hall chant and sing during their stand against on-street parking charges LINDSEY DICKINGS REF: 50065593B004

Cumbria County Council’s Barrow committee yesterday agreed to start a consultation period over proposals to put parking meters in 12 streets. A proposed fee of £1.50 an hour was also agreed for consultation.

The controversial scheme was voted-in as part of the authority’s 2014/15 budget to save £24.4m following a fourth straight year of government funding cuts.

Following yesterday’s meeting at Barrow Town Hall, a 21-day window for people to have their say on how on-street parking should operate is due to start later this month.

The committee agreed to press ahead with an altered list of streets following talks with the Federation of Small Businesses. Cavendish Street and Scott Street, which were originally included in proposals, no longer feature.

Under the proposals, meters will be in parts of Buccleuch Street, Emlyn Street, Whittaker Street, Fell Street, Crellin Street and Dalkeith Street – among others, for a six-month trial basis.

Councillor Dave Roberts, the only Conservative voice on the Labour-dominated 11-member committee, claimed the scheme was badly thought-out, would not make money for the cash-strapped council, and would put extra pressure on shops having to compete with retail parks and the internet.

He told the meeting: “We’re going through this process when, quite honestly, we don’t know the facts. Had we done a pilot scheme, that’s a totally different scenario.”

Labour’s Councillor Anne Burns said the scheme was a tough decision the council did not want to make, but necessary given the fact that over the next three years it needs to save £88m, on top of the £88m it has saved since 2010.

She said money generated would be spent on highways in Barrow and added: “We’re in a different world whatever we do and it’s not something we want to do, but we’ve got to try it.” Committee chairman, Councillor Kevin Hamilton, said the council had faced a straight choice between on-street parking and Tory alternative proposals to stop school pupil clothing grants.

Phil Collier, chairman of the Barrow Federation of Small Businesses, said the organisation was “fundamentally opposed” and supported the opposition. But added the FSB had been “pragmatic” and talks with the council had been productive.

‘We’re told to Love Barrow while our councillors are trying to kill it’

PROTESTERS voiced their opposition to on-street parking meters by singing songs outside Barrow Town Hall while marching through the town.

Ali Rigg, who runs Sing Your Heart Out classes in Barrow and singing sessions for people with dementia, convened the group. Miss Rigg, 43, of Sandscale, had never protested in her life, but said she felt compelled and declared the stance “just the beginning”.

Singing her specially written lyrics to songs including The Animals Marched in Two by Two and Who Do You think You Are Kidding Mr Hitler, they received applause from shops and distributed almost 1,000 flyers.

Ms Rigg said: “I think it’s disgusting. We’re being told to Love Barrow while our councillors are trying to kill it. I will not pay on-street parking; I already pay tax through six veins. It absolutely infuriates me. We’ve got so many empty shops now and I like to support local traders, but a noose is being created around Barrow, where all of the corporates have got free parking and loss leaders and the local independent traders have got so much competition going on around them already.

“I think the people of Barrow deserve better. I understand the county council is struggling financially but there are different ways of doing it.”

Have your say

just a fine mess the ccc has got us putting parking charges on the streets of barrow can some one tell us what price is going to cost to park and can blue badge park for free on parking meter not one ccc has said what the price for parking one or two three hours sold down the river again the ccc just do has they like red herring

Posted by bernard wakefeld on 21 July 2014 at 19:03

I could understand on street parking if all the car parks were full but the majority of time in Barrow they are not. How much is this going to cost to place all these meters in the towns at 4 thousand a machine?

Posted by bob on 21 July 2014 at 09:16

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