Free car parking’s for all year round not just Christmas say Labour
Tory/Liberal ‘pact’ too little to help business in Berwick
Labour group leader Grant Davey has labelled Northumberland County Council promise to ‘relax car parking charges for Christmas’ which won’t provide the support hard pressed businesses are looking for in tough trading conditions. They’ve called for the county council to stop ‘milking motorists’ and to get behind local businesses and back a Labour plan to let local communities decide how they want to ‘set car parking policy’ locally not at county hall in Morpeth.
The Council plan to offer to ‘relax car parking charges in Berwick’ for 8 weeks has been branded as ‘too little and a smokescreen’.
Labour has called for the Liberal run council to ‘introduce free car parking all year round’ as part of a town and parish council traffic management plan decided at local level. The plan would give local traders a direct say in whether car parking charges would be levelled in the locality.
Labour leader Grant Davey said
‘The Liberal/Tory pact to suspend car parking charges for Christmas is a superficial attempt to buy a few day’s good headlines. We’ve put forward a perfectly reasonable proposal to allow local communities to decide if they want to introduce free car parking to meet local needs and when we put forward a motion to full council equalising parking across the county (introducing free car parking), the Tories voted against it. Car parking policy is in a mess across the county and we want to make car park charging a local call not dictated from County Hall. It’s yet another example of two faced policy making from both Liberals and Tories, acting together’.
Labour has previously raised questions about the amount of revenue collected from car parking charges disclosed by the council. For instance, when Labour tabled the motion rejected by Tories and Liberals in coalition two years ago, it was revealed that the council picked up £1.92m from motorists. In the most recent figures revealed by Councillor Tebbutt, Cabinet member for corporate services, he revealed a figure of £4m. That would mean car parking charges would have doubled over two years.
Labour believes that ‘free car parking is for local determination, not just for Christmas’.