Letter: Parking charges - No more than a Tory stealth tax

Parking ticket machine. (1306044AM1)

Parking ticket machine. (1306044AM1)

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Last week’s Advertiser carried a report titled “Town centre charges welcomed by council” and referred to the proposals to inflict Sunday parking charges on residents. It should be noted that these proposals have been consistently opposed by Liberal Democrat members of both Harrogate (HBC) and North Yorkshire (NYCC) councils.

It seems that the overwhelming “No” vote in the recent public consultation has been conveniently ignored by HBC under pressure from their Conservative masters at County Hall. If referendum rules had applied to this proposal then it would have been decently buried.

I note that proposals for evening charges have not been dropped but merely postponed. What a surprise – let the public get used to one more charge and then slap on another.

How does this square with Theresa May’s promise to be a government for “all the people” and to look after the poor at the expense of the rich? I believe these promises are to be framed and displayed on Downing Street walls – just to remind the faithful that they are no longer the “nasty party”.

You quote Coun Mackenzie, the cabinet member at NYCC, as saying “that his initial view was that evidence confirmed that Sunday charges would encourage better turnover of premium spaces”. That may or may not be true but he fails to mention that nobody, apart from cash strapped councils, want them.

Coun Burnett (HBC) says that she is now convinced having seen the “evidence”. The evidence once again conveniently ignores the results of public consultation.

This is no more than another Tory stealth tax which will hit those least able to afford it. Of course it will not make much difference to Coun Mackenzie with his council allowances of over £27,000pa or to Coun Burnett with her allowance of nearly £10,000 pa.

It will, however, make a huge difference to those ordinary mortals trying to live on reducing pensions and annuities.

Geoff Webber

Burnside Drive, Harrogate