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'Say no to rise in parking charges'

February 26, 2009 12:00 AM
By Paul Giles in Yellow Advertiser
CHARGES: Nigel Clarke is against the car parking charges increase. Picture by Martin Dalton

CHARGES: Nigel Clarke is against the car parking charges increase. Picture by Martin Dalton

A HAIR salon owner is calling on independent traders to oppose a proposed 18 per cent increase in car park charges.

Nigel Clarke, who owns the Hair Company, in Crown Street, believes the rise to £10 a day is too much for business owners and staff to afford.

He said: "Most of the Crown Street independent traders are supporting the opposition to the parking charges rising.

"With all the financial issues going on at the moment, the last thing we need is the parking going up.

"Parking should be free for people on Saturdays as an incentive to get people into the town."

David Kendall, Brentwood Council's Liberal Democrat group leader, said his attempts to stop the charges had been blocked by the ruling Tories.

He backed Mr Clarke and said: "These increases will hit local retailers, businesses and residents very hard.

"Many people who live and work in Brentwood have to use their cars to get into the town because of the unreliable public transport links.

"They are now going to be penalised at a time when they need the council's support the most."

Brandon Lewis, leader of the council, said people would have to accept charges for off-street parking were a part of any town centre.

And he insisted reducing parking fees would be detrimental to other Brentwood residents because it would keep council taxes higher.

"Then local people would have to cover that extra cost via higher council tax so that would be unfair on all Brentwood residents," he said.