Please read the petition at the end of this blog. If you would like to sign now please comment below or pm me with an email address so I can add and contact you, OR contact me by email at: Carl.quartermain@redcar-Cleveland.gov.uk
Last year, the Independent/ Lib Dem administration of Redcar & Cleveland in their wisdom decided to propose putting up parking charges right across the borough’s towns and parks. This at a time when the cost of living has never been so disproportionate to incomes. These charges would have been decided in December and active from January 1st 2023.
Councillor Alec Brown, the Leader of the Labour group, along with the Labour Group, through objection, managed to have get this decision deferred until February 2023. He said,
“It was the Labour Group that managed to get the controlling administration to defer these proposed parking fees that were set to be agreed at December’s cabinet meeting.
“I rang the leader of the council, Councillor Mary Lanigan, the night before the meeting and left her in no doubt that the fees and charges, needed far more thought and consultation with the public. Then, the next morning our Chair of Resources, Councillor Christopher Massey, did a sterling job at getting the cabinet to defer the decision. Without the intervention of the Labour Group these parking charges would of been in place on the 1st of January.
“Although the leader of the council is right to point out it is the Conservative Government that have ripped money away from our public services for over a decade. They have created huge shortfalls in funding, the leader is right, it is easy to voice opposition, but it is also easy to see that placing a ticket machine everywhere will only have a negative impact on the local ecomony in the long run.”
The mismanagement of our economy by the Tory government exasperated the cost of living with their disastrous mini-budget estimated to have cost our country £75 billion. This self harm has come at a time that has already been a huge struggle for many, having endured ten years of unnecessary Tory austerity, the cost of the Covid pandemic, Brexit and the Russia/Ukraine war.
Residents and business owners, large and small, right across the country, have seen their costs continually rise through their mortgages and rents, their food and material supplies, their fuel and utility bills costs and in the services used and the hospitality, activities and entertainment crucial for mental health.
People simply do not have the disposable income to waste on punitive charges. And so at this time of national struggle, the council, who find themselves £9 million overspent, through no fault of the local tax payer, have decided to make YOU pay for it by putting up parking charging in all our towns and parks.
YOU will pay for this even if you do not own a vehicle or use your car to drive to town. On a daily basis those who would naturally drive in to buy some groceries, to go for some lunch or generally support shopping with local traders will be priced out and pushed to find alternatives in the giant warehouse this country has become. Visitors too will remember the costs when deciding where to revisit.
The knock on to INCREASED parking charges will be more closures, more empty units and INCREASED pricing. Business owners have huge overheads and will have no alternative but to put up prices to offset their losses. Parking charges ultimately becomes a tax on all of us, not just motorists.
As Ward councillor of Coatham, Redcar High Street sits within my ward. It needs support and deserves better than this. The businesses and residents need and deserve better than this. I am determined to do whatever it takes to make the Independent/ Lib Dem administration see sense and reverse their plan.
Please read my following petition of which I invite our business owners to display within their units. Please support our local trade and protect your incomes by having your voices heard.
Dear Councillor Lanigan,
It is understood that on the 23rd February, you and your Cabinet are recommending that parking charges for Redcar High Street in Coatham are to be increased significantly within the 2023/24 budget.
Currently parking is free for two hours but your proposals will change this to £1.70 for the first hour and £2.80 for two hours.
Many of Redcar’s independent businesses in Coatham have struggled to survive these past few years. Some have sadly closed due to the pressure of high bills and reduced footfall, following one economic crisis after another.
Likewise, the residents of Coatham and of all the surrounding areas too, are struggling to makes ends meet. And even so, many still continue to support their High Street shops and hospitalities because they believe in shopping local.
Our businesses and residents need all the support they can get from local and national government to make sure our towns remain vibrant. Redcar is particularly vulnerable to the economic pressures because it remains deprived of adequate funding having been stripped of over £100 million over the past 12 years.
The proposal therefore to remove free parking and increase parking charges in Coatham comes at the wrong time and is likely to have a very negative impact on Redcar’s trade. This coming at a time Redcar is progressing with it’s Town Deal plans to improve the High Street.
Coatham residents and visitors to our town cannot afford these parking charges and our businesses cannot afford to lose their custom.
Please can you go back and rethink this proposal and protect our businesses and our residents from these punitive charges.
Councillor Carl Quartermain
Coatham Ward, Redcar
On behalf of Coatham’s residents, businesses and the visitors to Redcar.
Reminder: If you would like to sign now please comment below or pm me with an email address so I can add and contact you, OR contact me by email at: Carl.quartermain@redcar-Cleveland.gov.uk