I SHARE the concerns of many recent correspondents at the proposed increase to car parking charges by Huntingdonshire District Council.
At a time of national financial restraint and economic uncertainty the local community should rightly expect our district council to demonstrate intelligent economic leadership. Rather than leadership or any meaningful initiatives to support our market towns, we have counterproductive increases to car parking charges.
As a resident of the town centre and a town councillor I have followed the approach taken by our district council with increasing concern. Their strong-arming town councils into taking over the operation of public toilets and other activities, demanding financial support for the district CCTV system, doing away with street cleansing following the Saturday market and demanding payment prior to attending reported sightings of rats in and around the market square do little to inspire confidence amongst residents and traders. It is little wonder that HDC is increasingly perceived as a remote, inward looking and self-serving organisation.
Rather than the deterrent of increased parking charges our market towns need every assistance if they are to thrive as places that are attractive to visitors and shoppers alike. Now more than ever we need senior managers at HDC to get out beyond the confines of Pathfinder House and listen carefully to the local community.
Cllr ANDREW BISH