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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

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Tory councillor joins fight against Cumbrian on-street parking charges

A leading Conservative councillor has joined the fight against on-street parking charges in Cumbria – claiming there are now almost 30 councillors against the proposals.

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John Mallinson: Need ‘friendly commercial environment’

County councillor John Mallinson told the News & Star that his political party had always been actively against the introduction of such charges, going so far as to include them in the Conservative’s “alternative” budget.

“The Conservative budget amendments we offered to the February 13 council were rejecting the proposal that would introduce on-street car parking charges,” he explained.

“We would not be here, in this position, had our budget amendment been carried.”

The shadow cabinet’s amendments were turned down by the coalition administration.

Mr Mallinson said that the controversial budget which included the introduction of the on-street charges had not been unanimously passed – showing the depth of feeling even before the News & Star launched its Keep Our Streets Free campaign.

The substantive motion was passed with 49 votes in favour, 24 votes against and one abstention.

Councillors Willie Whalen and Heidi Halliday, Labour and Liberal Democrat, have both since spoken of their objections to the plans.

“I am delighted that councillor Willie Whalen has realised how potentially bad it might be both in Carlisle and the other places,” Mr Mallinson added. “I don’t want to be too disparaging because he has obviously been on the road to Damascus and seen the light.”

Mr Mallinson gave his backing to the News & Star’s fight, insisting it was possible for the cabinet to reverse the decision.

“Myself and my Conservative colleagues believe this will be a very unpopular move,” he said, “but, moreover, we feel it will be detrimental to Carlisle and the towns across the county.”

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