Town council to hold crunch car parking talks

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CRUNCH talks are set to be held between Pocklington Town Council and East Riding Council in a bid to clarify the future of car parking in the town.

The meeting will take place on 18 May and three members of the town council will meet with representatives from County Hall to discuss the costs of keeping car parks free to the public in Pocklington and other places in the region.

Councillor Tony Marron, Coun Richard Bryon and town clerk Richard Wood will be probing the local authority as to how they recently came to the figure of £47,000, which is their predicted annual income from Pocklington’s three long-stay car parks if pay and display machines were introduced.

They will also discuss service and maintenance costs, which they were told would be more than £2,700 for one car park.

There are fears that despite parking charges being shelved by East Riding Council, the idea will be re-introduced soon.

Coun Marron said: “We’re going on behalf of Pocklington to sort out the costs. We’re not going to preach. It’s a discussion of facts.

“We will then come back and meet up with groups to discuss general tactics.

“What we are trying to do is get some figures so we can come up with a plan. They have got the answers. All the time we are being bombarded with figures. It will be nice to be on an equal footing and know where we stand.”

After the meeting, the trio will report back to Pocklington Town Council and meet up with different parish and town councils in the region to discuss what the next step is for the Council of Councils Against Car Parking Charges.

The group was formed in the summer last year to fight East Riding Council’s plans to introduce pay and display at car parks across the county, which were put on hold after a huge public backlash. It includes representatives from Pocklington and other town and parish councils.

Coun Marron believes the figure of £47,000 from County Hall was an attempt to scare off Pocklington Town Council from wanting to lease the car parks, including the front and rear of the old railway station and West Green.

He said: “They are trying to grind us down and think we will go away and forget about it. They’re trying to scare us with high figures but we’re not going to go away.

“It should be an interesting meeting. If they do give us the figures we will know what we are up against.”.

The car park review was launched in early 2009 with the idea of introducing pay and display in many of the existing free car parks in the East Riding.

However, it sparked huge protests across the region as thousands of residents, shoppers and shopkeepers signed petitions and organised marches.

There is a concern among some people that charges will kill off local business, deter visitors and force drivers into on-street parking.

East Riding eventually decided to shelve the idea in February last year until there were two consecutive quarters of economic growth. The local authority have said pay and display will not be imposed until 2012 at the earliest.