The decision to go ahead with a revamp of car park charges in Louth has been slammed by the Louth Town Partnership.
District councillors voted on January 9 for the controversial plan to ‘balance’ charges from April, which will see a daily £3 charge in the now free Cattle Market, Sunday fees and increases across the board.
“The recent vote, overwhelmingly in favour of the new car parking charges, is both disappointing and worrying,” said the partnership.
“Councillors chose to make light of a petition fronted by the local business community and signed by over 2,500 people, a number which doubtless would have been much higher if not for the festive season.
“Perhaps these councillors would like to talk to the thousands of people who have flooded into Louth to enjoy the Victorian and Christmas markets, as well as the food fairs.”
ELDC’s Coun Tony Bridges, said: “Councillors spent over two hours debating the issues surrounding car parking arrangements and the petition from the community against the increase in charges was discussed in detail.
“The changes, which will come into effect in the coming weeks, focus on a fairer and more consistent car parking service for motorists across the whole of East Lindsey.
“The council has balanced this against the need to do all it can to protect front line services, such as refuse collection and street cleaning, at a time when it faces significant cuts from central government – around £1m per year.
“The increase will be the first since 2008 and the council absorbed the VAT increase of 2.5 per cent in 2011. East Lindsey residents pay the lowest council tax in Lincolnshire and one of the lowest in the country at around £1.70 per week for most homes.
“With regard to the Louth Town Partnership, East Lindsey District Council has made a substantial investment over the past three years of £160,000. This shows ELDC’s commitment to Louth and we want to make sure businesses in Louth flourish.”