Controversial changes to car parking charges have been criticised by a Horncastle councillor who fears they will damage local businesses.
Officers at East Lindsey District Council claim a far reaching car-parking review could generate half-a-million pounds in additional revenue.
Speaking at a meeting of ELDC, car parking scrutiny panel chairman Coun Terry Knowles said the proposal - which would see charges introduced at some free car parks and increased at many others - was ‘balanced and fair’.
However, the proposal met with an unfavourable response from several councillors, including Horncastle’s Fiona Martin.
Coun Martin, who is also the town’s mayor, said the changes could effect small businesses.
She added: “We need to take a serious look at the effect that car parking charges are having on our market towns. We need free parking to ensure people visit.”
The ELDC report recommends increasing parking charges at a number of short and long stay car parks, including two in Horncastle.
Several councillors representing market towns feared that the loss of an hour’s free parking would force shoppers out of town centres towards supermarkets.
Councillors also felt the introduction of Sunday parking charges would cause additional problems and ‘flew in the face’ of what rival authorities were doing to help local businesses.
Although there was no immediate provision for an hour’s free parking in the ELDC region, Coun Knowles said the idea could be revisited at a later stage when more data had been gathered.
An amendment to ‘acknowledge’ the report, rather than ‘endorse’ it, was passed on a vote.
Many businesses in Horncastle are already reeling from the loss of revenue during the town’s roadworks.
Parish councillors in Woodhall Spa will also be awaiting developments as they are opposed to any parking charges.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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