Letter: Sunday parking charges - Arrogant and undemocratic

It is a temptation for any council with a large one party majority to ignore public opinion and to implement policies that have absolutely no public support.

Sunday, 28th August 2016, 6:00 am
Sunday car parking charges

This is exactly what has happened in the decision of North Yorkshire Tories, supported by their colleagues on Harrogate Borough Council, to approve Sunday “on street” parking charges in Harrogate.

The issue itself has been well debated in your columns and will no doubt continue to attract comment but I would like to highlight the arrogant and undemocratic way in which this money making decision was taken.

A public consultation resulted in a 93 per cent vote to dump this scheme and yet the county council, on the basis that they knew better than everyone else, decided to go ahead and impose charges from October.

The decision to do this had clearly been made, in minds if not on paper, before the issue went out to public consultation – something many of us had suspected for some time.

Why then waste public money on consultations when they are, at best, window dressing?

What rubs salt even deeper into the wound is that council taxpayers are funding these decision makers to the tune of over £22,000 per year in allowances.

These councillors need to be taught a lesson in democracy and we will all have the chance to administer that lesson at the ballot box next May.

Geoff Webber

Burnside Drive, Harrogate