Cromer hits out at ‘discriminatory’ car park charges
Cromer Town Council is set to put pressure on its district counterpart to drop a proposal to introduce higher car parking charges in some north Norfolk towns.
Cromer, Holt, Sheringham and Wells are set to have steeper charges overall than Fakenham, North Walsham and Stalham as North Norfolk District Council seeks to make up a �900,000 funding shortfall.
NNDC's ruling Conservatives said the move was justified because the coastal towns had more tourism and investment than the others.
But a motion from Scott Eastwood, supported by Gwen Smith, at Monday's town council meeting, called it 'targeted discrimination' against the people and businesses of Cromer.
It added: 'Those hardest hit will be those who are more dependent on car travel - families with young children, the more elderly population and those who have mobility impairment.'
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After a debate, the council agreed - with three abstentions - to write to NNDC asking for the plans to be reconsidered, to continue to press on the issue until the budget was decided in February and to lobby Cromer's district councillors.
Mrs Smith said: 'I think it's discrimination to make other towns pay less than Cromer.'
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Keith Johnson, a town councillor and a cabinet member of the district council, said the council was faced with a big deficit, and added: 'We need to raise income through other areas, and we do not want to cut services.
'I'm quite happy to find a way to not put up car parking charges, but I would like to see some alternatives.'