Parking hike will ‘drive up fresh despair’

editorial image

PLANS to impose new winter car parking charges on a Scarborough beauty spot are a “grubby” attempt to make cash, it has been claimed.

The criticism was levelled at Scarborough Council bosses yesterday by cllr Subash Sharma during a heated Cabinet debate.

Cllr Sharma, who represents the North Bay, said proposals to bring in a £1 charge in Marine Drive between November and February next year were difficult to comprehend, especially when a huge proportion of the area will be sectioned off for massive Yorkshire Water improvements next winter.

He said: “It is easy for me to ask for no charges and the idea that we start charging when there will be chaos in Marine Drive is difficult to sustain.

“It is grubby to acquire more money in the coffers when people’s budgets are reduced.”

Cllr Janet Jefferson concurred, adding businesses could struggle if tourists are put off Scarborough by the hike in charges.

She said: “It is only £1, but it is the principal.

“We have a 12-month town economy and this could set a precedent for the future.

“There is going to be a lot of upheaval in that area and it has to be viable for some of the premises to stay open in winter.”

The moves come as the council looks to fill a predicted £430,000 cash chasm in parking revenue, and cllr Bill Chatt tempered any criticism, saying the proposals were a small price to pay.

He said: “The problem I have with Marine Drive is the people in the mobile homes who take the opportunity of the lovely view but don’t contribute to the local economy.

“There should be a charge and £1 is not out of order.

Cllr Derek Bastiman also rejected criticism of the increases.

He added: “We are committing suicide and saying do not come to Scarborough.

“Lets talk it up, not down.”

The council imposed a deadline of February next year for public consultation on the plans which are set to come into force in March.