PLANS for new parking charges have provoked controversy.
Members of Flintshire Council yesterday looked at possibly throwing out proposals for new parking tariffs in the county following a call-in petition by disgruntled councillors.
The matter will now go back to the council’s cabinet, although the meeting heard no decision had so far been passed by council leaders.
Buckley councillors argued there was a lack of fairness in the plans, as four of their car parks would require payment under the proposals, while other communities would not be affected.
Four of the six Buckley councillors who had signed the call-in presented arguments for why they did not wish to have the charges introduced.
Cllr Richard Jones said he feared residents would end up going elsewhere if they had to park.
He said: “We are going to lose shoppers from out of our towns into other places. It is totally unfair.”
Cllrs Mike Peers, Carol Ellis and Neville Phillips also spoke out against the proposals, arguing they were unfair and expressing the fear that plans to attract a second supermarket to the town could be hit.
Cllr Ellis criticised the information presented to council members about the plans and said the proposals had never been brought to their attention at Buckley Town Council. She said: “We as a town council have had no dealings at all on this.”
Under the proposals, new parking charges would be introduced in Buckley, Connah’s Quay and Flint, with charges already in place in Mold and Holywell.
No new car park charges would be imposed in Queensferry, Saltney, Shotton or Talacre.
Under the plans, motorists would pay 20p per hour for up to three hours or £2 all day, but with free parking to be introduced after 3pm.
In response to the concerns raised by the Buckley councillors, Cllr Aaron Shotton, leader of Flintshire Council, said having car parking charges can have positive benefits.
“There are alternative arguments to say it does help and assists in terms of freeing up spaces that need to be available,” he said.
“Mold have argued for car parking charges to be in place.”
Cllr Bernie Attridge, the council’s deputy leader, said no decision had so far been taken by the cabinet on parking charges being introduced.
Carl Longland, Flintshire’s director of environment, expressed his belief having parking charges would not impact on town centres.
“I don’t think it’s inequality for Flintshire residents,” he said.
“I believe 20p per hour is proportionate and is right.”
A majority of members of Flintshire Council’s environment overview and scrutiny committee voted in favour of the decision going back to cabinet.