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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Firms to quiz senior Cumbria councillor over parking charges

Businesses in one Cumbrian market town are preparing to take their concerns over proposed parking charges straight to the top.

Keith Little photo
Keith Little

The Penrith Business Improvement District (BID) has arranged a meeting with Councillor Keith Little, the man behind the controversial plans, which is set to take place later this month.

Cumbria County Council has approved plans to introduce on-street parking charges in 11 towns and cities, much to the outrage of businesses across the county.

Details of the exact streets where the charges will be implemented have already been outlined for some towns, with the intricacies set to be laid out at the next cabinet meeting.

Initial proposals show that 10 Penrith streets look set to have charges imposed, something businesses are angry about when compared with the eight outlined for Carlisle.

Kelvin Dixon, chairman of the Penrith BID and owner of Seagraves & Dixon, said: “We have requested a meeting with Keith Little, who is coming to Penrith at the end of the month to meet with key businesses and councillors about parking.”

He continued: “It would be nice to think they would come into meetings with an open opinion, but we all know what financial trouble [the council] is in. This is an easy way to bring in money.

“I am optimistic that we can have our say, and find out how they plan to change the policy – if at all – or can make it more fair.”

Mr Dixon is not frustrated simply over the introduction of the parking charges – it is the way in which it is being done which angers him.

“It does seem to be a very unfair roll-out when only certain towns were initially targeted, and others not even mentioned,” he explained. “If you are going to roll out charges, it should be countywide and not just targeting certain towns.

“This just gives other towns an unfair advantage.”

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