Friday, 26 April 2013

All men and women may park in Northumberland but in Hexham we pay for the privilege

The Lib Dem parking policy is crazy. If George Orwell were alive today he would look at the parking situation in Northumberland and shake his head in wonder. Whilst some parts of the County enjoy free parking those of us who live and work in places like Hexham are forced to pay for parking. That this is having an impact on the trade in the town is beyond dispute. There are NCC parking enforcement officers who are zealous to say the least - and I receive regular and detailed complaints that the officers actions are driving people out of the town. Five separate constituents have raised this problem these last 7 days from employers of 20 + people in Hexham, to one man bands, to local townspeople. Only this week I received a complaint as to possible penalties being imposed by the parking attendant when a trader was legitimately using a loading bay.
Employers are struggling to employ people in the town because people who work in Hexham more often than not cannot get more than 3 hour parking for the day.
If this were a policy county wide I would be more understanding, but the reality is that Hexham pays and the South East of the County does not. That is simply unfair and merely because our Lib Dem masters in Morpeth say it is what they agreed with South East residents does not make it fair.
The Conservatives have a simple pledge of fairness across the County - we will make parking free for all. This would cost in lack of revenue but would be more than offset by the impact it would have in trade, in support for our shops and retailers who make up the life blood of this great county. People would have the money in their pockets to spend in the towns and shops that is presently being spent on inequitable and unfair parking charges. This is a choice - and a choice to support all of Northumberland - not just the Liberals favoured few.
For my quotes I prefer Jefferson to Orwell - "all men and women are created equal and should be allowed to park equally - and freely - across the County!" Vote Conservative for a free parking policy on May 2.