Online site to voice fears over parking changes in North Norfolk
North Norfolk residents are being urged to write to the district council objecting to proposals for increased car parking charges in 'better off' towns, and to support a seasonal tariff instead.
North Norfolk Labour Party has set up a website – www.parkingplan.co.uk – where people can add their contact details and send an e mail directly to council leader Helen Eales.
In recent months the ruling Conservative group has come under pressure from local businesses and town and parish councils to re-consider its plans.
The district council is proposing to increase charges for car-park users in Wells, Holt, Cromer and Sheringham.
Parking fees in Fakenham, Stalham and North Walsham would remain unchanged other than the introduction of a �1 evening charge, where it is currently free.
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All free car parks in the district, including Highfield Road, Fakenham, Polka Road, Wells, and two North Walsham car parks, will become paid for season ticket only car parks.
The changes were agreed by full council in December and are due to come into effect on April 1, raising an estimated annual �100,000 and help plug a �900,000 hole in the council budget.
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North Norfolk Labour party chairman Tim Bartlett said the planned charges would split the district in half.
'Not only will this be a further assault on their household budgets at a time of rising costs and stagnant incomes, it will harm town centre trade too.'
Labour proposes the introduction of a seasonal tariff system with modest increases in parking charges during the summer months, offset by reductions in the winter. This would mean that for local people parking charges remain the same over the course of the year, with the additional cost passed on to summer tourists.
Mrs Eales has said she is prepared to listen to alternative proposals but hard decisions had to be made to prevent an across-the-board 2pc increase in council tax.
She has also denied that accusation that seaside towns and Holt were being targeted because they were richer but said it was because they attracted tourists.