Backing for parking levy for tourism fund in Craster

Wendy Pattison, Conservative candidate for Longhoughton.
Wendy Pattison, Conservative candidate for Longhoughton.

Craster Parish Council’s call to create a tourism fund through a car-parking levy has been backed by the county councillor and a candidate.

As reported last week, the council will be presenting a petition to the north area committee meeting on Monday, which aims to tackle the gap between a small precept due to a dwindling number of residents and expenditure to provide facilities for a growing number of tourists.

Craster still has parking charges and its petition proposes to add 50p to the cost of a short-stay ticket and £1 to an all-day ticket to go into a ring-fenced tourism fund.

Ward member for the area, Coun Kate Cairns, said: “I understand very well the problems of small parish councils that support growing numbers of tourists, being born and bred at Newton-by-the-Sea and a member of its parish council for several years.

“As a Liberal Democrat, I believe that politics should come from the grassroots so I am happy to take forward this petition for a decision. This is only one of the many other projects I am working on for Craster.

“I have developed a very good relationship with the administration securing significant investment over a short period of time and bringing possibly the biggest changes seen in a long time, including the newly-resurfaced and relined quarry car park, three new areas of grasscrete for residents’ parking, new flags to be laid in Heugh Wynd, and new gateway works and traffic calming to be installed at the entrance to the village.”

Another supporting the call is Conservative Wendy Pattison, who is standing against Coun Cairns for the Longhoughton seat. She has expressed her concerns at the acute problems faced by coastal communities within the ward, which are struggling to provide visitor facilities on current parish precepts.

Wendy says that, if elected, she will make this a priority issue. She added: “While Craster is facing the most acute problems, I am aware that other parishes within Longhoughton ward also need to make investment in facilities for the use of visitors and tourists.”

l The Quarry car park has reopened after resurfacing. Coun Cairns said: “I am delighted with the high-quality new surface and lining of Craster car park, which proved popular this weekend.”