Labour slams Liberals over ‘car parking stealth tax’
Labour calls on council to think again on free car parking
Labour councillors on Northumberland County Council have urged the Liberal controlled council to ‘think again’ on car parking charges as figures show the council has ‘raised’ £1.95m in fees and fines from towns like Hexham and Berwick.
Under pressure from Labour and Tory councillors, the Liberals have adopted a 1 week free period for the whole county over the Christmas period.
Labour are now urging the Liberal administration ‘stop playing politics’ with car parking and equalise free parking across the whole county in line with free car parking enjoyed by the South East area of the county.
Labour says it is unfair and an ‘effective stealth tax’ for areas without free car parking and ‘the shoppers permit has been ineffective, costly and bureaucratic’.
Labour group leader said
‘The arguments put forward by Jeff Reid and his Liberal party show how reliant this administration has become on car parking fees and fines. By taking, £1.95m out of the local economy, they’ve effectively levied a ‘stealth tax on motorists’ which hits local economic activity. At a time when the council should be supporting local economies like Berwick and Hexham, it’s counting on money raised through fines and fees. This is a question of fairness and we’re urging the Liberals to adopt our original plan to let local towns and parishes decide whether free car parking is good for their communities. This shouldn’t be a decision for County Hall’.