Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting MG NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
I will not quit over car park price row
8:50am Monday 15th October 2012 in News
A LEADING councillor has resisted calls for her resignation as a parking fee rise causes further rifts.
Ledbury town and county councillor Liz Harvey criticised the town council’s role in a decision to raise car parking charges and to make the town’s one free car park a pay car park.
A statement from It’s Our County by party member Coun Harvey said: “It is deeply disappointing that the town council’s first go at devolved decision-making has resulted in car parking tariffs for the town which are far more expensive and more damaging to residents, commuters, businesses and even tourists than the charges originally proposed by Herefordshire Council.”
But fellow town councillors said their hands were tied as they had only been consulted on the matter by Herefordshire Council.
Coun Mary Cooper asked Coun Harvey to consider resigning at a full town council meeting.
Coun Cooper said: “I ask whether Coun Harvey is a fit and proper person to represent the town when her interests clearly lie elsewhere.
Should she not resign her position, as her credibility is in issue?”
Coun Harvey insisted she would not resign and asked whether fellow town councillors are “up for” greater devolved powers, which will come in with the Localism Act. She said: “A ward member asking the town council to put an appropriate amount of effort into making important decisions is not a resigning matter.
“I wish councillors were as concerned for the economic welfare and convenience of Ledbury residents as they are to deliberately misunderstanding the serious concerns I am raising regarding the behaviour of the council.”
Coun Clive Jupp said the town council had only been consulted on how the car parks could produce the income required by Herefordshire Council. He said: “The consultation was about how the town council would adjust the proposed changes.
Such changes cannot produce a lower income than Herefordshire Council requires.”
And Coun Bob Barnes said that Coun Harvey’s statements had called into question “the honesty, integrity and commitment of members of this council”.
The changes, if approved, will take effect in November and see charges introduced in Bridge Street car park.
While charges at Bye Street and Lawnside Road will remain at 50p for one hour, longer stays will rise as much as 33 per cent. A two-hour stay will cost £1 as opposed to 80p, three hours will cost £1.50, up from £1.20, four hours will cost £2 rather than £1.50, and stays longer than four hours will cost £2.50, up from £2.