Local Government Minister Bob Neill has responded to a Daelnet article we recently published highlighting the potential danger facing our local market towns from increased parking fees.
In his response Mr Neill agrees with the concerns we highlighted and sets out how he believes the governments new parking policy should address them.
Mr Neill's full response is below:
"Sir, Your article (Parking: death threat to market towns) is right to point out the damaging affect high parking charges are having on market towns, but contrary to the view expressed, the new Government's parking policy will, in fact, help communities like Skipton set lower charges.
High parking charges on the high street can send shoppers running to the big supermarkets, punishing small shops and undermining the local economy. That's exactly why this month Ministers ended national parking policy that instructed councils to push up parking charges to discourage car use. The last Government's policy had encouraged aggressive parking enforcement and prevented councils from reducing parking charges to draw in more shoppers from other towns. These rules have now been scrapped.
This move frees communities to set competitive local parking charges that will attract shoppers to their high streets. Now the old directives are gone, councils and residents that want to boost their local economy and protect their local shops can set charges that will compete with the out of town supermarkets.
This is common sense for local communities, getting rid of Whitehall rules which acted against the interests of local residents and local shops."
Bob Neill MP Local Government Minister
You can read our original article here. http://www.daelnet.co.uk/news/weekend/weekend_07012011.cfm