ELDC is standing firm in car park saga

Carry on paying - a parking mahcine in Horncastle
Carry on paying - a parking mahcine in Horncastle

Town councillors in Horncastle admit they are “banging their heads against a brick wall” in their attempts to change car parking policy.

Horncastle’s three district councillors - Fiona Martin, Sandra Campbell-Wardman and Richard Avison - met officers from ELDC to press for alterations to parking charges.

The meeting followed widespread protests by town residents and business owners after ELDC’s controversial re-vamp of charges, brought in last year.

Coun Martin said the three councillors would continue to campaign for the town but admitted she held out little or no hope in any reduction in charges.

Speaking at a meeting of the Town Council last week, Coun Martin revealed figures which showed the number of cars using ELDC car parks in the last three years had almost doubled from 3,262 in 2012 to an estimated 6,042 this year.

Coun Martin said the increase made it very difficult to argue that motorists were staying away from Horncastle.

She said: “We tried our very best and put forward all the concerns.

“We argued about removing charges from The Wong.

“However, I’ve got to admit we made very little progress.”

Coun Martin admitted there were no immediate proposals on ELDC’s agenda regarding car parking and said that was unlikely to change before next year’s district elections.

She added: “We will continue to fight for the town but even a small concession looks unlikely.”

She pointed out that together with Coun Campbell-Wardman and the late Steve Newton, she voted against the increases.

Coun Linda Baker praised the three councillors’ efforts but added: “I think we all feel we are hitting our heads against a brick wall when it comes to car parking in Horncastle.”

Coun Bill Aron suggested joining forces with other town and parish councils to pout pressure on ELDC.