‘Hands off our car parks’, that’s the clear message from hundreds of residents and visitors to our town who are alarmed at the Labour Councillors, who now run Worthing Council, plans to introduce new car parking charges at the currently ‘free-to-use’ car parks at Sea Lane cafe, Marine Crescent and the Goring Road shops.
These car parks have always been free-to-use and now having over spent their budget by about £2.1million, Labour councillors are planning a cash grab on those car parks by introducing all-year-round charges.
There are real fears amongst residents that these popular car parks, that attract thousands of Worthing residents and out-of-town visitors to our town and seafront, will cause cars to spill out into neighbouring roads, causing parking mayhem and that local businesses, still struggling to regain footfall after the pandemic years will lose more customers.
Cllr Roy Barraclough (conservative) who represents residents in Goring ward is leading a campaign to stop these charges being introduced. Roy’s campaign has seen hundreds of responses from residents and visitors who recognise that this plan will have a serious detrimental effect to the Goring area.
Cllr Barraclough said “This is nothing more than a cold-hearted money grab by a Labour Council who quite frankly have, in their first year in office, lost control of the books. This is a cynical attack on the motorists who are seen by them as an easy target. Yet so many of those who come to the seafront to enjoy the beach and the Goring greenswards are local residents from across the town who come down to the seafront for their exercise and leisure. They are being hit in the pocket to pay for car parks they have already paid for in their council tax.”
“I am grateful to all the residents and resident groups who have raised concerns and responded to the survey. Many local businesses have also expressed their concerns about this, as they see this as another hammer blow to them and their livelihoods. I have been swamped with emails and on-line replies to the survey I circulated and I will now be taking this campaign back to the council to get this stopped.”
Conservative group leader and Goring Councillor Kevin Jenkins said, “All councils are going through a difficult time. This is nothing more than a cold and cynical money grab that will generate very little income in the greater scheme of things; but will have a disproportionate effect on users of the car parks and local residents. This Labour administration have lost the plot; when we challenged the cabinet member for resources, Cllr John Turley, about the plans to introduce car park charges, he stated ’That details were being finalised’, yet we were able to obtain the planned fee introduction details from the council and that shows that the details were known to him and his cabinet colleagues and should have been disclosed when he was questioned at the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee in December and again at the Full Council meeting in January. On the face of it there has been a clear effort to avoid disclosing these details to members and to the public. You have to start to ask, just what else are they hiding.”