Hunny dismay with resort's parking lot
20th March 2008 - the following article is reproduced by kind permission of Lynn News
CONTROVERSIAL plans to increase parking charges in West Norfolk have come in for renewed criticism amid strong concerns about the impact the move will have on Hunstanton.
West Norfolk Council has approved a 20 per cent increase in the cost of parking at its car parks, while plans are also in the pipeline for full charges on Sundays and a standard rate for evening parking and blue badge holders.
Hunstanton Town Mayor Cllr Richard Bird believes the changes will have a significant impact on the resort and has accused "nameless and faceless" council officers of making major decisions on the future of the town without considering the impact they will have.
He told the Lynn News: "Anything like this will have a strong impact. We seem to have one thing after another imposed on us, to the detriment of the town.
"Every year the on-street parking gets worse and we have residents absolutely inflamed by the fact they cannot get near their houses due to parking by visitors.
"We welcome visitors, of course we do, but we recognise that our residents have to have a residents' parking scheme so they can get somewhere near the homes they paid for. Driving people away from car parks does not help this.
"We do not think the borough council will take any notice and believe it is a done deal.
"It is very frustrating as we are listening to the complaints of local people but this is controlled by nameless and faceless officers 17 miles away."
Cllr Bird said Hunstanton has already been hit with parking charges on Sundays and revealed people have to pay to park all year round.
The potential problems have also been highlighted by Linda Lockwood, who runs the Barber Shop, on Westgate.
She said: "Hunstanton is on its knees and in need of help. These charges will drive away not only any potential employees but local trade as well.
"When is the council going to stop using us as a slush fund to top up funds for Lynn projects and start giving us back a reasonable amount of the revenue funded by Hunstanton to saving our town?
"I work six days a week because I have to and having to pay parking charges and losing custom because of them will do nothing but harm to my business and every other one in the town."
On announcing details of the parking charges in January West Norfolk Council leader Cllr Nick Daubney said the increase was needed to help cover a shortfall in funding for the region from the Government.
He also said there had to be a strong element of the user of the service has to pay.