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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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Ex-mayor hits out at on-street parking charges plan

A former Mayor of Workington is the latest to condemn on-street parking charges approved for Cumbria.

Andrew Lawson photo
Andrew Lawson

Andrew Lawson, who represents Seaton on Allerdale Council, is the latest Labour councillor to add his voice to concerns the charge could hit high street trade.

The Labour-led county council last week approved plans for the charge, which would affect 11 areas of the county, despite mass petitions against the move. As well as Workington, they will also be implemented in Carlisle, Penrith, Keswick, Cockermouth, Whitehaven, Maryport, Windermere and Bowness, Ambleside, Kendal and Barrow.

Mr Lawson, 23, also a member of Workington town council, has called for a rethink.

“I am against these parking charges,” he said. “I think at a time when the local economy is struggling, it is a bad idea to introduce a car parking charge.” He added: “The status quo with the disc parking scheme is fine.”

The charges are being introduced as the county council tries to slash costs from its annual budget. The authority must find £88m of savings by the 2016-17 financial year.

Mr Lawson acknowledged the county council’s need to find savings but questioned whether parking charges should be included.

He said: “I I am sure they can find another way to save money.

“I think it could affect local businesses and jobs could be lost. It is a risk that is not worth taking.”

Mr Lawson, who is a Labour councillor, also urged other members of the party to oppose the introduction of parking charges.

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