Calls for a review of new parking charges rejected

Car park sign
People parking their cars across Broxtowe can no longer have the first hour free [BBC]

Calls for a review into the scrapping of an hour’s free parking in three town’s council-run car parks have been refused.

Traders in Beeston, Stapleford and Eastwood say the changes to charges brought in by Broxtowe Borough Council in January have been devastating.

Petitions calling for a review and the reinstatement of the free hour and free parking in evenings were handed in to an extraordinary meeting on Thursday.

But the motion was blocked in front of a packed council chamber.

Broxtowe council meeting
The charges were debated in a packed council chamber on Thursday [Broxtowe Borough Council]

Council leader Milan Radulovic told the meeting issues such as anti-social behaviour, bank closures and inflation were more of a problem for town centres.

Instead he suggested business forums ought to be established across the borough.

He said: “There is a whole plethora of issues that need to be looked at. Car parking is a big issue but compared to some of the other issues, put it into perspective - town centre viability needs to be considered as a whole.

“We are prepared to work with people to look at a whole range of issues we need to tackle.”

Councillor Gabrielle Bunn said: “The pressure on many organisations is high, and unfortunately, councils are not immune.

“Introducing charges is never popular, no-one ever wants to pay for something that they have had for free, sometimes it is however necessary.

“The introduction of this small charge allows us to protect services that so many residents rely on.”

Steve Carr, one of the independent councillors who proposed the motion to the council, said the meeting was "disgraceful". He said: "I don't think I've been at a meeting like that before. I've never known so many people in the public gallery.

Councillor Steve Carr
Independent councillors had called for a review [BBC]

“We're not going to give in, we owe it to the businesses and residents in Beeston.

“We're not going to be able to bring it up at the council for six months but we will carry on embarrassing them for a decision which is destroying three town centres."

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