Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Liberal councillor backs free car parking plan

Press Release
Labour slam ‘Liberal double standards’
Liberal councillor backs free car parking plan
Labour has today called for Liberal councillor Isabel Hunter of Berwick with Ord ward to back their campaign to end ‘the unfair lottery of car parking charges which penalise Berwick and Hexham’.
The call comes as Councillor Hunter defied her party and backed a decision which introduced free car parking in Berwick for a week from 18 Dec to 24 Dec. The Liberal Democrat cabinet member for resources, Andrew Tebbutt had branded the motion put forward by the Tories and backed by Labour as ‘irresponsible and immoral’ but it seems that view is not shared by members of his own party.
Now Labour are stepping up the pressure on Liberal councillors who represent wards which still have car parking charges after it emerged that the council was ‘raking in’ £1.95m in fees and charges alone.

Labour group leader Grant Davey said
‘We’re now seeing the true face of Northumberland’s Liberal Democrats. In one breath, they label free car parking ‘immoral and irresponsible’ and in the next breath, they back the plan ‘as good for local businesses’. The truth is the Liberal Democrat car parking policy which rakes in nearly £2m from some areas of Northumberland is unfair and it’s time for them to cut their losses and admit they are wrong. Our policy is crystal clear – we’ll introduce free car parking, in a planned manner, working with towns and parishes because we think they are best placed to judge whether free car parking will benefit an area not politicians in County Hall’.
 Berwick Coun Isobel Hunter Lib Dem supports free Parking in Northumberland
Published on Monday 10 December 2012 14:18 Berwick Press
FREE Sunday parking will come into force in Berwick and other parts of the borough from December 16.
The news comes a month after the planned change was first confirmed by Northumberland County Council, along with reductions in the charges levied on other days in Berwick’s car parks to put them in line with other market towns across the county.
Coun Isabel Hunter, Lib Dem member for Berwick West with Ord, said: “It’s encouraging that despite the savings the council needs to make, it has found a way to scrap Sunday parking charges in Berwick. This move will encourage more people to come into the town on Sundays to eat, shop and socialise and will be a real boost to the town’s traders.
“I am pleased that this is going to be implemented so soon, meaning there will be plenty time for people to get their Christmas shopping done on Sundays. Taken together with the huge cut being made to charges on other days, this is very good news for visitors to Berwick.”
A report to the county council’s executive last month stated that the move “would further reinforce the council’s commitment to supporting local businesses”.

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