Bus laid on for council protest

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PARKING campaigners are planning to descend on County Hall tomorrow (Wednesday), laying on a bus from Alnwick Market Place to take anyone who wants to make their voice heard to an influential committee.

Alnwick Chamber of Trade (Act) has organised the free transport, which leaves at 9am, saying they want as many people as possible to make the journey to the policy scrutiny committee meeting.

Councillors will debate the executive board’s approval of the new parking strategy, which was agreed behind closed doors and fails to address the existing inequalities which mean motorists in rural Northumberland have to pay for parking, while the urban south east remains free.

The scrutiny committee can make its own recommendations to the executive, or demand that the issue is debated at full council.

Chairman of Act, Carlo Biagioni, said: “We intend to campaign fervently in an effort to achieve fairness and equality throughout the county regarding this important issue. We have a bus arranged to take our supporters along.

“This is an important issue, especially for market towns such as ours which rely heavily upon tourists to help sustain local businesses, yet Alnwick receives very little consideration from the unitary council.

“The government is encouraging equality from local councils, yet the rules relating to parking are anything but equal. In the light of recent developments, Alnwick will see no changes in the present car parking system in the town.

“The chamber of trade is fighting this vigorously. We believe the county council discriminates against Northumberland county market towns, residents, shoppers and their businesses.”