Saturday, July 26, 2014

Quotes of the day 26th July 2014

“People are used to these parking spaces being free. The reality is that if people nip into town they won’t want to pay £1.80 per hour for parking. If this is being looked at by county councillors from Copeland, they need to stand up for this area. It’s down to our councillors to have the courage of their convictions.”

(Gerard Richardson, of Richardson’s of Whitehaven)

“We are totally against it. We are fighting to that end county-wide. We hope the council will make alterations to the proposals.”

(Allan Mossop, of West Cumbria’s Federation of Small Businesses)

“It will kill trade. It’s a cheap way of getting revenue but it will hit shoppers and shopkeepers hard. It’s a big charge.”

(Andrew McDowell, of Market Place post office)

“They might as well close Whitehaven and tell people to go elsewhere. I would imagine that 50 per cent of businesses will pack up or think about leaving.

“We should be congratulating people on finding Whitehaven and shopping here, not putting them off.”

(Michael Moon, of Michael Moon’s Bookshop)

Local business leaders in West Cumbria respond this week to the disastrous proposals from the Labour led administration in Cumbria County Council to charge £1.80 per hour to park onstreet in the town centre in Whitehaven and other towns in the county.

Dogs Bark, Ducks Quack, and Labour puts up taxes.


Little Ireland said...

The annoying thing to me, is the local committee set the price knowing the current economic climate in Whitehaven. They could have offered 20 minutes free parking, but decided to generate as much cash as they could... which is actually illegal to do. Why wasn't this decision called in?

Chris Whiteside said...

You're absolutely right Sean. This was a daft and destructive decision.

Good point too about whether it could have been called in. I must ask my colleagues about this.

Anonymous said...

60p for 20 minutes anyone?

Anonymous said...

You'll pay Germany for your car, Saudi Arabia for your petrol, but the county in which you live you want to pay nothing for clogging up the roads.

Chris Whiteside said...

As a councillor in both Copeland and St Albans I voted for free parking, particularly for the first hour, not because I was unwilling to pay my share of taxes but because I recognise the economic reality that high parking charges have a dire impact on small traders.

And the suggestion that I am not paying anything in tax to help the state maintain the roads is so far adrift from reality to be completely delusional. I pay hundreds of pounds in travel-related tax every year - in car tax, and in taxes on fuel - for the privilege of using the road.

Make that thousands of pounds last year while I was travelling all over the North West for the European elections.

And incidentally I am prepared to pay for long-stay parking or when there is no legal alternative - I have the receipts in front of me for £17.50 I have paid in parking charges in the last fortnight.

Anonymous said...

You do not have a legal right to park on/obstruct the highway, perhaps if we saw enforcement of the laws you would be aware of this.

Anonymous said...

It's allowing cars to dominate town centres that is "reducing the health and vibrancy of our town centres" not parking charges.

Little Ireland said...

I'm finding it difficult to understand the logic of Anonymous who seemingly wants to remove cars from town centres, because they dominate.

I would love to hear a well thought out argument, which explains how restrictions will increase footfall.

I suspect Anonymous wants to plant trees along all our high streets with private areas to hug them.

Anonymous said...

Has the footfall increased or decreased in Workington and Keswick since the pedestrianisation of these towns?
The Keswick shopkeepers and hotelliers were up in arms at the proposal, its odd but you don't hear them complaining now.
Pedestrianisation of Whitehaven has been on the cards since the 1970's but it never happens, instead the town has to suffer and deteriorate with the increasing domination of the centre with cars.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this the same Sean Duffy who wilfully obstructs the highway at Low Road? He wants us taxpayers to pay to widen the road past his house so that he can continue to leave his car on the road obstructing what is an acceptable road, acceptable if it were not for said obstructions.

Little Ireland said...

You are so wrong anonymous. I'm not sure why I should justify myself to someone who is hiding behind a computer. A coward, I would think.

No. I don't live on Low Road. No. I don't block the road. Yes. I am helping the residents in their campaign to make the road safer.

Your post has just narrowed down, substantially who I think you are, following a letter in the Whitehaven News and a post on social media.

Maybe you should represent the public, instead of trying to justify a stupid decision, for which I believe you were party to.

Little Ireland said...

Here's an interesting link for anonymous -

Chris Whiteside said...

(Deleted and reposted to correct a couple of typos)

Anonymous, as you have not signed your name one cannot be certain of this, but I strongly suspect you are a Labour councillor or Labour party member in Cumbria becuase I have never met anyone else on the planet with such a great gift for supporting disastrous policies and making absurd and irrelevant arguments.

Neither I nor the representatives of the local business community who I quoted, all of whom have done far more to create wealth and happiness in Cumbria than I suspect you have, were talking about fines for parking illegally or obstructing the public highway.

We were talking about the planned introduction by Cumbria County Council of new parking charges for legal on-street parking.

Nobody is denying that Cumbria CC as the highway authority have the legal power to introduce such charges or indeed to withdraw the right to park on stretches of the public highway. But the fact that they have the power to this does not necessarily make it a good idea to exercise that power.

I am not arguing against these charges because they will make me personally much worse off - in fact they won't.

The building where I work has an off-street car park, so it is usually only when visiting towns or cities away from home, often outside Cumbria, that I have to pay parking charges such as those I mentioned in a previous post.

I am arguing against these charges because I think they will do significant harm to Cumbria's town centres by making customers more likely to shop on the internet or at big retail units which offer free car parking to customers, therefore driving more small businesses to the wall and reducing the health and vibrancy of our town centres.

Although the anonymous posts numbered four and six on this thread do not provide anything resembling a constructive argument, I have left them up as an object lesson and a warning. That is in the hope that anyone reading this who has an open mind and a properly functioning brain will notice how ridiculous the arguments posted here in defence of the car parking charges being introduced by the Labour led administration at Cumbria County council are, draw appropriate conclusions about the intelligence or lack of same of Labour politicians in Cumbria, and remember this next time they find themself visiting a polling station.

Chris Whiteside said...

Gordon Bennet!

Due to the long distances and poor public transport in this part of the world, it can be extremely difficult for people in many areas of West Cumbria to manage without a car. That does not mean that we should allow the car to "dominate town centres" but it does mean that we need an intelligent strategy for where people can park and at what cost.

Chris Whiteside said...

Parking in Keswick can be absolute murder and actually, I have heard people complaining about it.

Pedestrianision can seomtimes work provided it is part of a well-thought out strategy which includes effective and reasonably economical ways, covering the whole door to door round trip, for people to get from their homes to the pedestrianised area, and back when carrying heavy shopping.

That has to include either park and ride or adequate car parking just outside the pedestrianised area.

Just introducing parking meters in town centres without a consistent and comprehensive plan to help shops and shoppers is not a transport strategy, it is a revenue raising strategy and will do nothing but harm to Cumbria's towns.

Chris Whiteside said...

Sean, the attack on you by "Anonymous" is a clear breach of the comments policy on this blog and my first reaction was to delete the comment concerned.

However, I will make this your call, because I think the post and your reply demonstrate what desperate and cowardly tactics some people are resorting to rather than take part in a constructive discussion of the best way to regenerate our towns.

If you ask me to delete the post I will do so.

Little Ireland said...

Hi Chris - I'm happy for the comment to stay. I've grown accustomed to attacks on me - luckily, I have a very thick skin.

What anonymous doesn't seem to realise, is that nothing on the internet is anonymous. Internet companies, such as blogger keep log files. There are also other ways to determine identity.

Writing styles also give an indication of who people are. For example, our anonymous person is one of two people. An educated guess points to a certain oaf who is approximately 6ft tall.