Burnley opposition to controversial plans to end free parking in town

Parking meters could be introduced to Burnley and Padiham
Parking meters could be introduced to Burnley and Padiham
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A controversial proposal to introduce on-street parking charges to Burnley and Padiham will be discussed this afternoon.

Lancashire County Council's Cabinet will meet in Preston to discuss the proposals which have drawn huge opposition from local traders, residents and politicians.

The Labour leader of Burnley Borough Council has expressed his concern that charges could drive shoppers from already under pressure town centres.

Coun. Townsend said: "I am concerned that this is not thought through. The proposal only appears to raise £185,000 across the whole of Lancashire and there are no details of the impact on the retail sector and town centre activity generally.

"The proposals should be put on hold until a detailed impact assessment is carried out."

His views were echoed by his Labour counterpart on Lancashire County Council, Coun. Azhar Ali.

He said: "At a time when the Conservative Government claims it wants to help shop keepers in our towns, we have a Conservative council in Lancashire looking to strangle trade on the high street by the introduction of this tax.

“This is a tax on trade that will see struggling local shop keepers pushed to the limits as passing trades and convenience shopping will go elsewhere. People across Lancashire are working hard to attract people to the local high street only to find their towns are to be used as a Conservative cash cow. On top of the 6% council tax increase with more increases to come.

“At the Cabinet meeting I will be demanding that this proposal be dropped. This has nothing to do with parking management, safety or availability. This is a straight forward tax on cars. That is why it's in the budget papers.”