Anger as thousands sign petition against Leeds City Council’s proposed car parking charges in Wetherby
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Conservative Councillor Alan Lamb has launched the petition objecting to the council’s proposals at the Wilderness and Station Gardens car parks.
The proposals have been fought off several times before and since launching the petition on Monday, November 20, it has gained over 3,700 signatures and counting.
Councillor Lamb said: “This decision will be hugely damaging to Wetherby and the surrounding villages.
“It is a short sighted decision that will cost more than it might raise.
"At a time when we need to support the independent businesses and the town centre as a whole, this will be hugely damaging.
"Proposals have been fought off several times before and we need to come together and do it again.”
Leeds City Council previously came under fire earlier this year after proposals were announced to introduce parking charges at Leeds beauty spots such as Roundhay Park, Golden Acre Park and Temple Newsam.
The plans, which included charges starting at 40p-an-hour, and led to much criticism, have now been officially scrapped for the time being.
Councillor Lamb’s move to block the proposals have been backed by the Better Wetherby group who have voiced concerns over the “negative impact” the introduction of car parking charges could have on the town centre.
Roger Owen, Chair of Better Wetherby Partnership, said: "Wetherby has managed to be fairly resilient through the pandemic but the warning signs are there with several shop closures and a small number of Thursday market traders leaving us, not to mention the national issue of bank branch closures.
“Better Wetherby strongly believes that introducing parking charges at the main car parks would have a negative impact on the town centre and the shops and businesses located within our town.
"We also do not believe that this would be a cost-effective process due to the implementation and on-going enforcement costs.”
There will be a public meeting at Wetherby Methodist Church on Tuesday, December 5 from 7pm.
To sign the petition, visit https://chng.it/pTv8xwXfBW