Neil O’Brien, MP for Harborough, Oadby & Wigston has slammed Oadby & Wigston Borough Council for the latest proposals concerning parking charges in the Borough.
Following a recent consultation exercise regarding the introduction of parking charges, the Council has announced proposals to introduce parking charges as well as a permit costing between £50 - £150 for car park users, likely £75 for local residents.
Neil said, “First we had a consultation that was tucked away on the Council’s website, with nothing other than a few posters on lampposts to raise awareness, and now we have this terrible scheme that will inevitably hurt local businesses across Oadby, Wigston and South Wigston.
The Council have wasted over £10 million in the last 10 years through their mismanagement, and now they want residents and businesses to foot the bill through these parking charges that will inevitably hit retailers. They are introducing parking charges, but attempting to put a cynical positive spin on this by announcing a permit – though with this costing between £50 - £150 for shoppers, it is really not going to appeal to anyone and people will see through this.
To add insult to injury, their own Councillors aren’t even going to vote on these proposals – despite the fact that it breaks their main manifesto pledge to maintain free parking. It’s a backroom deal cooked up by a Council that has wasted £10m of public money in 10 years and people deserve better. Local Councillors were elected with a promise of free parking, and it is imperative that such a big change across the Borough is voted on by those democratically elected Councillors now.”
Cllr Priti Joshi, Leader of the Opposition at O&W Borough Council said, “Residents and businesses were clear during the consultation and in correspondence to me, this would impact traders at the worst possible time as they seek to rebuild after the pandemic. These permits are a poor idea and could punish households with more than one car. One household with two cars could be spending up to £300 on parking, it is ridiculous. Clearly the Council needs to raise revenue having wasted so much money over the last 10 years, but attacking our retailers and businesses as they try to emerge from the shadow of the pandemic is not the way to do this, and I would urge them to reconsider this decision.”