Debate on parking continues

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A BID to de-rail controversial plans for a parking shake-up has failed.

Conservative members of Calderdale Council’s economy and environment panel had asked for further scrutiny of the proposals which include higher fees but their request has been turned down.

The panel heard thatcouncillors Scott Benton (Con, Brighouse), Richard Marshall (Con, Ludd Foot) and Stephen Baines (Con, Northowram and Shelf) wanted the panel to consider all the options including a review of the council’s parking services and their impact on the local economy.

Coun Benton said he knew of 10 petitions that had been started across Calderdale against the plans.

He said he had been contacted by one elderly lady in Brighouse who had to visit her doctor regularly and would now face £200 a year in parking charges under the plans.

He denied claims by the council’s economy and environment spokesman Coun Barry Collins’s (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden) that the bid was a political move, saying he would not be fulfilling his role as a local councillor if he did not raise the concern of “thousands” of residents.

The plans would see parking fees put up in 2014 by around 10p an hour to raise £245,000. Another £660,000 would come from a variety of measures including on streets charges to another 14 council-run car parks.

Around 4,200 residents would be charged £25 a year for permits to park outside their homes.

Coun Collins said the council is having to save £84m by 2017 - around a third of its budget.

He added that charging for parking in areas where it is usually free all day would encourage shoppers rather than deter them in areas like Brighouse and Hipperholme where visitors can not find spaces because they are taken up by traders.