MP calls on councillors to throw out on street parking plans
In advance of a public meeting being held in Windermere tonight, South Lakes MP Tim Farron has written to key councillors asking them to throw out plans to introduce on-street parking charges.
Cumbria County Council is planning to introduce the charges in several towns across the county, including Windermere and Bowness, Ambleside, Kendal, Barrow and Keswick. The charges have been opposed by many local businesses and politicians like Tim, who argue it will damage their sales and treat Cumbria's towns like 'honey pots'.
Local MP Tim Farron has previously expressed his disappointment that Cumbria County Council has decided to push ahead with on-street car parking charges. Tim has said that the council has 'got this wrong'.
In advance of the meeting tonight in Windermere to discuss the plans, Tim has written to Stewart Young, the leader of Cumbria County Council asking him to pause the current process, undertake a full impact assessment of the plans on the local economy and examine other options.
Commenting, Tim said: "Today I've written to the Leader of the Council to ask him to throw out these plans to charge for on-street car parking. I believe this proposal is bad for residents, businesses and communities. The council has got this wrong. I hope that councillors of all parties will listen and go back to the drawing board."
Below is the letter Tim has written to Stewart Young, the leader of Cumbria County Council Jo Stephenson, the Deputy Leader asking him to throw out plans to introduce on-street parking charges:
Cllrs. Stewart Young and Jo Stephenson
Our Ref: Farr001/324/ac
5 June 2014
Dear Stewart and Jo,
I'm writing to represent the hundreds of my constituents who have contacted me in recent weeks regarding the proposed introduction of on street car parking charges.
I am extremely concerned that these proposals will have a detrimental effect on our towns and local businesses. South Lakeland's economy relies heavily on tourism and attracting visitors to our area. If we continue to treat our town's as 'honeypots' for the council to dip into, that will inevitably cause real damage to the area.
I appreciate the significant savings which the council are currently being faced with. You will no doubt be aware that I voted against the Government's local government finance settlement as I felt it unfairly penalised rural councils such as Cumbria and South Lakeland.
I understand that the proposal has been "called in" and will be subject to review by the relevant Scrutiny Advisory Board. This would seem like an ideal opportunity to pause the process, undertake a full impact assessment on the local economy and examine other options.
I would be delighted to meet with you, either jointly or separately to discuss this issue and examine ways in which we can work together to achieve a resolution. My office would be happy to facilitate such a meeting. Given the considerable public interest that surrounds this issue, I am making this letter available to the public.
With best wishes,
Tim Farron MP