Saturday, 13 April 2013

Northumberland County Council has come under fire for ‘dragging its feet’ over the issue of parking charges in Berwick.

Chamber chairman criticises delay over petition discussion


John Haswell John Haswell

Northumberland County Council has come under fire for ‘dragging its feet’ over the issue of parking charges in Berwick.

The authority is yet to process thousands of signatures calling for an end to unfair parking charges in market towns across the county.
The petition, set up to highlight the cost of parking charges, closed on February 27.
The council posted a message on its petitions site promising to ‘shortly’ process over 3000 signatures from Berwick alone. Hundreds more signatures were collected in Morpeth and Alnwick.
Now the Labour Party and the newly formed Northumberland Market Towns Chamber of Trade is challenging the council to set up a meeting of its petitions committee as soon as possible to allow the issue to be debated.
John Haswell, chairman of Berwick Chamber of Trade, said: “I’m very disappointed that the council has chosen to ignore this petition which has gathered thousands of names, all calling for free parking across the county.
“Over 3,000 signatures were gathered in Berwick alone from some very angry people. The residents have spoken clearly and signed up to the petition which closed on February 27 and because of the council’s failure to fulfil its obligations and convene a meeting, thousands more residents of Berwick
and the other market town are still being bled dry in parking charges.
“Now over four weeks have passed and we’ve not heard anything from the council. I appreciate this issue may not be comfortable for the current administration but it deserves to be heard.
“We’re calling for the petitions meeting to be convened as early as possible.”

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