Petition forces councillors to rethink car-parking charges
By Mid Devon Gazette | Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 08:00
MORE than 2,000 people have signed a petition calling on Mid Devon District Council to rethink its proposed increase in car-parking charges.
Maria Cheatle presents her petition to Simon Coombes, of Mid Devon District Council
The petition started by Maria Cheatle and signed by customers of her barber's shop in Westexe, Tiverton, was replicated in other local shops and attracted wide support from people concerned about parking fee hikes approved earlier this year.
The increases are set to up the cost of short-stay parking across Mid Devon by 20p and medium length by 30p.
Last week, the campaigner handed over copies of the petition bearing a total of 2,642 signatures to council officer Simon Coombes at the Phoenix House offices.
The council only accepted 2,435 signatures because the others were from people who do not live in Mid Devon. But the organisers easily reached the target of 1,500 needed to force the council to review the issue.
The debate will take place at a full council meeting in Tiverton Town Hall on June 27, when the organiser of the petition can give a five-minute presentation.
Philippa Grainger, who runs Easy Life mobility shop in Westexe and is also a town councillor, said the strong feelings of traders were reflected among customers who had been signing copies of the petition in large numbers.
She said: "Customers still oppose any rise in car-parking charges. They know the council has to make savings but they don't think it is right to put up charges and expect motorists and traders to bear the brunt."
The council said it decided to raise fees for the first time in five years because it needed extra income .
Council leader Peter Hare-Scott said it was with a "heavy heart" the cabinet had voted for the increase.
Prices are to be revised to offer better value at Tiverton multi-storey car park and St Saviour's Way, Crediton, where five hours will cost £1.