Angry residents have hit out at West Lindsey District Council’s controversial decision to introduce car parking charges in Market Rasen.
The council’s Prosperous Communities Committee (PCC) sparked a wave of protests after deciding to implement charges ranging from 30p for an hour to £1.95 for six or more hours.
Town mayor Coun John Matthews branded the decision as an ‘atrocity’ in last week’s Rasen Mail, claiming committee members had made a ‘grave error of judgement.’
He also said WLDC had ignored the feelings of the town’s residents as more than 2,600 people had signed a petition against the charges.
Coun Matthews added the decision would ‘severely damage’ the prosperity of Market Rasen.
The Rasen Mail also revealed TV star Mary Portas - the recognised ‘Queen’ of the nation’s High Streets - had written to WLDC saying she was ‘saddened’ by the decision.
Guy Grainger contacted the Rasen Mail with a letter he has sent to two district councillors.
Mr Grainger, a former town councillor himself, praises them for their opposition to parking charges and asks what information was made available to them before the decision was made.
He goes on to say there could be case for the decision to be examined by WLDC’s Scrutiny Committee .
A host of people took to Facebook to criticise the decision.
Jannette Surfleet Taylor said: “They should be thinking more about how to get Market Rasen to be a more interesting place to visit.
“What are these parking charges going towards? Will they be investing it back into Rasen?
“They got rid of cameras due to costs of maintaining them. The Christmas lights went. Market stalls are almost gone. Rasen’s become a ghost town opened up to all the elements of crime.”
Andrew Downie said the decision was disgraceful and added it was ‘the death of the town’.
He said: “All that Mr Big/Mary Portas effort wasted.”
Jess Clarke added: “Like people are gonna pay to go in to Market Rasen. Shops are gonna suffer!
Luke Patterson said: “Best rub Market Rasen off the map.”
Michael Tindall said: “Boycott the car parks.”
The chairman of West Lindsey District Council’s Prosperous Communities Committee has defended the controversial decision to implement parking charges.
Coun Sheila Bibb last week said: “The issue has been carefully considered by several committees and meetings, council workshops, and many ideas, opinions and feedback.”
She added tough decisions had to be made - but that the decision would be reviewed in six months.