Labour have reasoned to people’s concerns on parking charges. Sean Coughlan
Proposals to introduce car parking charges in the district centres of Willenhall, Darlaston, Bloxwich, Brownhills and Aldridge have been rejected by council leaders following a hugely successful public consultation by Walsall council. Walsall’s Labour cabinet rejected the proposal which was part of a set of options included in the consultation booklet to deliver £86 million of government cuts.
The decision comes after thousands of people took part in a major consultation exercise on £86 million of cuts which are being imposed by the Government on the borough over the next four years. Walsall council leader Sean Coughlan said the public response to the consultation so far had been extremely successful. “The reaction to this consultation has been the best we have ever had.
“People recognise these cuts are forced on us by central Government and it is clear residents care about council services. What the consultation has shown is that people are frightened by the impact of these government cuts on those services, their homes and their communities.
In the past, local town centres have been left to decline and shops and small business have struggled to cope. We decided the parking charges, though modest, would have a negative impact on those communities which we, as a Labour council, are determined to protect and we will also ensure that district centres are a priority in our future regeneration plans that we will bring forward in the coming months.”
Mohammed Nazir, cabinet portfolio holder for regeneration, said the council’s overall aim was to help businesses create more jobs. “Borough wide we are working to support and improve business opportunities but we won’t forget local communities who have, in the past, been ignored.
Willenhall Community activist and local businessman, Stan Taylor, welcomed the decision: “For many years our High Street has been in slow decline. We have seen row upon row of shops closing. We need to protect existing businesses and attract new investment into the area and I am pleased the cabinet has listened and acted to deliver that.”