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Monday, 22 September 2014

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New petition calls for Cumbria council parking charges U-turn

A third petition has now been launched against council plans to introduce on-street parking charges in parts of Cumbria.

Cumbria County Council has decided to abolish disc zones and bring in the charges in 11 towns and cities including Carlisle, Cockermouth, Keswick, Maryport, Whitehaven and Workington.

Campaigners now believe residents and traders in parts of the county could also be hit.

Curves, the women-only gym in Carlisle city centre, launched a petition which gathered 300 signatures in less than a week, while an online petition set up by Heidi Halliday, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Ambleside, attracted 340 signatures within a day.

Eddy Wilson, a 59-year-old former soldier from the Workington area, is the man behind the latest campaign ‘Fight against Cumbrian on-street parking charges’.

He said he was against charging for on-street parking because it was a money-making exercise with little regard for the people of Cumbria.

“It’s just a case of the council running roughshod over everyone and they don’t care about the people,” he told the News & Star. “It just seems to me that they are more bothered about balancing the books of the county.”

Mr Wilson added that Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, had promised to take action against councils who were raising revenue from on-street parking.

He said: “These actions of Cumbria County Council are so blatant and have the nerve to actually state as much to the press.

“What happens when Mr Pickles clamps down on councils?

“All the money spent would be wasted.”

Mr Wilson said it would also hit tourists visiting the area, adding: “It’s visitors that keep this county’s economy going.

“The more pressure we can bring to bear on them the better.”

Penrith Business Improvement District (BID) has also opposed the move and arranged to meet with Councillor Keith Little, the man behind the controversial plans.

The council has insisted it has no choice but to introduce the charges as part of multi-million pound savings it must find.

The parking charges are part of a controversial package of measures which councillors approved last month.

Details of the exact streets where the charges will be implemented will be laid out at the next cabinet meeting.

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