Calderdale Liberal Democrats have called for a suspension of plans to introduce car parking fees in Mytholmroyd. Deputy Group leader of the Liberal Democrats Councillor James Baker put forward a motion on the Economy and Environment Scrutiny panel asking that plans to introduce parking fees are shelved in light of the ongoing difficulties faced by businesses struggling to recover from the floods.
The move follows previous efforts by Luddendenfoot ward Councillor John Beacroft-Mitchell to get the charges suspended due to the exceptional economic circumstances faced by flood hit Mytholmroyd. Unfortunately though the Labour group who run Calderdale Council are seeking to push ahead with the plans. This has sparked outrage from local residents, and businesses who are opposed to the plan.
Commenting Councillor James Baker said
“Mytholmroyd has a set of exceptional circumstances, it has a small row of shops that were severely affected by the floods and a lack of any other free parking spaces. These charges will add to the cost of living for residents and deter people from using local shops.”
Labour ward Councillor and Conservative Chair oppose the motion
The motion was opposed by Councillor Simon Young the Labour Councillor who is meant to stand up for people in Mytholmroyd, and the Conservative Chair of the committee. This was particularly disappointing following the Conservative’s previously expressed opposition to the parking plans. A motion from the panel would have helped the campaign to drop the charges.
Campaign against charges goes on
The Hebden Bridge Times has reported on the campaign against the charges. Liberal Democrats Councillors Tony Hodgins and Christine Bampton-Smith have been working with Royd regeneration in opposing the plans, and helping to inform local residents about them. They were successful in persuading Hebden Royd Town Council to oppose the plans, and write with their objections to Calderdale Council.
Councillor Tony Hodgins said:
“Royd Regeneration wants the best for the shops and it just seems like this is a backward step.”
Time for a re-think
Calderdale Council needs to cover the costs of its car parks. However we must acknowledge the exceptional circumstances facing some areas in Calderdale that have been affected by flooding. Shops in Mytholmroyd are really struggling, and desperately need our support to help build a stronger economy so they can get on in life. In light of the ongoing flood recovery it’s simply not tenable to proceed with plans to impose car parking fees on these communities.