Park­ing charges should be scrapped

Halifax Courier - - Tour De France In Calderdale -

Res­i­dents and traders of the Calder Val­ley are ex­press­ing their dis­ap­point­ment af­ter park­ing charges that were seem­ingly to be abol­ished at the be­gin­ning of the new fi­nan­cial year are still in force across the area.

Ex­tra park­ing charges were in­tro­duced in car parks around Brighouse, West Vale, Rip­pon­den, Mytholm­royd and Tod­mor­den in Jan­uary. Af­ter a long cam­paign against the charges, Con­ser­va­tive and Lib­eral Demo­crat coun­cil­lors man­aged to over­turn the de­ci­sion to im­pose the charges at Calderdale Coun­cil’s An­nual Budget Meet­ing on Fe­bru­ary 24. As such, the es­ti­mated in­come that was to be gen­er­ated by a range of ex­tra park­ing charges (to­talling £250,000 in 2014/15 and then £200,000 ev­ery year af­ter that) was re­moved from the coun­cil budget from April 6. Res­i­dents and traders have cam­paigned against these charges ever since they were first pro­posed by the Labour-run coun­cil 18 months ago.

Con­ser­va­tive and Lib Dem coun­cil­lors man­aged to over­turn the de­ci­sion to im­pose the charges by re­mov­ing them from the coun­cil budget. It is there­fore com­pletely un­ac­cept­able and lu­di­crous that the coun­cil has not taken im­me­di­ate ac­tion to re­move the charges now that we are in the new fi­nan­cial year. An ex­cuse for the in­ac­tion from coun­cil of­fi­cers at the re­cent Brighouse Ward fo­rum sug­gested that the coun­cil don’t have enough bags to cover the new ma­chines! A real ‘job­sworth’ an­swer, from what is be­com­ing a coun­cil of in­ac­tion and ap­a­thy.

In Brighouse over 2,500 res­i­dents signed a pe­ti­tion which has been du­ally dis­re­garded by the Labour lead­er­ship. I would go as far as say­ing that the Labour Cab­i­net are de­lib­er­ately drag­ging their feet with re­gards to re­vers­ing these very un­pop­u­lar park­ing charges. By do­ing so they are ig­nor­ing the wishes of the coun­cil who voted to abol­ish them, and as such the wishes of the elec­torate.

This sounds to me to be be­com­ing yet an­other ex­am­ple like Halifax Cen­tral li­brary, where the wishes of lo­cal res­i­dents are com­pletely ig­nored by our inept coun­cil lead­er­ship.

Res­i­dents and traders are de­mand­ing that the charges are re­moved im­me­di­ately and that the mis­ery that the charges have brought to traders and res­i­dents alike is brought to an end.

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