MP backs parking charge campaign
NORTH Somerset’s MP has shown his support for traders and residents campaigning against plans to introduce parking charges in Nailsea, Clevedon and Portishead.
Responding to a letter written to him by the owner of Scarletts restaurant on Clevedon’s seafront, Jenny Williams, Dr Liam Fox has said he does not support proposals to introduce time limits and charges in the three towns. As a result, he has also written to North Somerset Council to express his views.
The idea, which is still in its infancy and is currently being investigated by a council scrutiny panel, could see charges implemented in a number of streets in and around town centres as well as along Clevedon’s seafront and Portishead’s esplanade. However, the proposals have come up against some fierce opposition.
Petitions have already been handed into the council from campaigners in Nailsea and petitions set up in Clevedon by traders including Mrs Williams, who fear the charges would devastate their businesses, and residents, who fear they will have to pay to park outside their homes, have attracted thousands of signatures.
Dr Fox’s letter to Mrs Williams said: “I do not support the introduction of further time limits or parking charges in Clevedon, Portishead or Nailsea.
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“At a time when small businesses are struggling to cope, we do not need any disincentives for customers.
“Equally, at a time when individuals are feeling the pinch, we not need any local tax rises to make matters worse.
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“I have written to the Leader of the Council accordingly.”
Mrs Williams said: “His letter says everything we want to say.
“Any customers who have spoken to me about this have said if they have to pay they just won’t come.”
* To sign an online petition against the proposals visit www.change.org and type ‘Clevedon parking’ in the search box.