‘We will continue fight to put brakes on parking meter plan’ in Cumbria
Last updated at 13:23, Tuesday, 19 August 2014
A BID to block controversial parking charges in parts of Cumbria has failed – but the opponents have vowed the fight is not over.
Two Cumbria County Council Conservative members had ‘called-in’ the decision made by the authority’s South Lakeland local committee to begin consultation on where £1.50 an hour parking meters should be introduced in Ambleside, Windermere, Bowness and Kendal.
At a meeting of the council’s scrutiny management board in Carlisle yesterday, Tory leader Councillor James Airey, who represents Ulverston West, and Councillor Bill Wearing, who represents Grange, argued the committee should be made to think again. But most of the board’s members did not support their proposal.
Cllr Wearing said: “Introducing charges will have a devastating effect on retail sales in the next 12 months.”
The council agreed earlier this year to introduce charges in 11 areas across the county. The Evening Mail is supporting traders unhappy with the plans and backing a campaign opposing their introduction.
The details of exactly where the charges should apply was left in the hands of the local committees for each of Cumbria’s six districts.
Cllrs Wearing and Airey argued that rural areas were not being treated in line with the authority’s equality policy, claiming that parking charges along with cuts to bus services were most sharply felt in the countryside.
The Conservatives have expressed opposition to the charges in every district of Cumbria and both councillors said they had not taken part in workshops designed to help organise the introduction of charges because of the group’s stance.
Despite the rejection of their bid, they received some support. Fellow Conservative, Councillor Jim Lister said: “The local committee has been put in a position like the crew of the Titanic. The captain has crashed into the iceberg and the local committee have been given the opportunity to rearrange the deckchairs.”
However, most members did not back the proposal. Labour councillor, Kevin Hamilton, chairman of the Barrow local committee, said the duo should have taken part in the workshop process. He said: “I’m pleased to say that in Barrow we have gone out and consulted with the businesses. “
Copeland Labour councillor, Christine Wharrier, questioned the Tories’ argument on equality. She said: “Car parking is being brought in right across the whole of the county, not just in Windermere and the rural districts.”
After the meeting, Cllr Airey said he was not surprised by the decision but insisted it was not the end of the issue. He pledged the Conservatives would continue to try to put barriers in the way.
First published at 13:22, Tuesday, 19 August 2014
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
people wont want to pay the extra money just to park in town if anything this will send the shoppers online or to the super-markets and the town centre will close even more shops
Paul, one of the things established during this process is that it is illegal to use on-street parking charges to raise revenue. They are only allowed to cover the cost of managing the parking. So these charges will simply pay for the meters and for enforcement, at the cost of local traders' livelihoods.
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