Fenland councillor reminds readers of objections to pay parking debate 17 years ago

AS the pay parking row continues, Fenland councillor Jan French reminds us that a similar debate was carried out 17 years ago - and asks us what has changed between then and now.

Dear editor

Further to letters that appeared in your paper last week ref car parking charges.

I would like to make it quite clear I as a Town and District Councillor have never been consulted on either car park charges or Civil Parking Enforcement, and it has never come to the Town Council for consideration or consultation.

I would like to cast your mind back to July 9 1993, the article that appeared in your paper:


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Town Council hits out at pay parking

March will become a dormitory Town, and wiped off the map, as a result, March Town Councillors have warned.

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But members fear District Councillors who have not even consulted the local councils yet, are hell bent on bull-dozing through the plans.

On Monday, Jan French launched a stinging attack on the District Council for not requesting comments from the Town Council before deciding next Thursday.

“I’ts time the elected members sitting on this Town Council were listened to,” she said. “We are suppose to be the voice of the people, but unfortuneately Fenland District Council never listen.”

She questioned how much it would cost to set up.

Councillors were unanimous in slamming the proposals, which they argued would mean shoppers staying away from the Town centre in favour of larger shopping areas such as Peterborough, or out of Town shops with private free car parks.

Anne Clark (no longer a Councillor) said March could easily become a dormitary Town with people just sleeping here and working and shopping elsewhere.

George and Patsy Brewin and Paul Skoulding (sadly George and Paul are no longer with us) said pay parking would be the final straw for many businesses, as shoppers gave up their regular short impulse trips in favour of shopping expeditions in larger centre.

Mr Brewin asked if Fenland were deliberately trying to decimate their town centres in favour of out of town shopping.

Jean Southewell (sadly no longer with us) said economy was now too weak for car park charges.

Councillors agreed to fight the moves.

Editor, 17 years down the line what has changed? That was my views 17 years ago and are still my views and I will not consider car park charges in the towns and villiages of Fenland.

What we need is enforcement of the illegal and dangerous way drivers park, and cause hazards and inconvience to other road users. Also, the cars that stay all day in one spot which then deprives shoppers of just popping in.

It would appear that the police budgets will be cut and it may be difficult for them to use their resources on that.

Fenland Council could have its own officers to enforce this, and the fines for that could go to the costs and be self-funded.

CLLR JAN FRENCH

March Town & Fenland District Councillor

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