COMMUNITY leaders have slammed proposed new car parking charges.
Councillors in Holywell fear efforts to regenerate their town could be hit by proposed increases in parking fees, having previously called for charges in the town to be scrapped.
Holywell is one of just two towns in Flintshire to currently operate charges in council owned car parks, at a rate of 20p for up to three hours in short stay car parks.
Flintshire Council has proposed to increase the costs to 20p per hour for up to three hours to park or £2 all day.
Speaking during a lengthy Holywell Town Council debate, Cllr Peter Curtis said he had been calling for many years for car park charges to be scrapped.
He fears increasing the charges could have a detrimental impact on the town.
“This is not a town which has an influx of people. We are already struggling to bring the residents into the town, never mind visitors,” he said.
“If these new charges come in then it’s just like chopping our legs from under us.
“I don’t want it in Holywell. It’s been a bone of contention. It’s not just the money side, it is the sheer messing about.
“It’s the wrong thing to do and it’s the wrong time to do it.”
In January 2011, Flintshire Council members were told by Cllr Tony Sharps, then Flintshire Council deputy leader, that car parking charges in Holywell and Mold were set to be abolished.
But the proposal was not carried out, and Holywell councillors are also unhappy their town is set to continue to have parking charges while other areas of Flintshire could remain free under the proposals.
Cllr Peter York said: “Uniformity is an important point.
“There is nothing in this proposal that suggests there would be any uniformity.”
Cllr Rosetta Dolphin urged the council to make its stance clear about its opposition to car parking.
She said: “We should be sticking to our guns and say we were promised no parking fees.
“Mold has decided to keep it, that’s their choice.
“But if we are having a choice then we don’t want it.”
Members supported a proposal to write to Flintshire Council expressing opposition to the proposed parking charges and stating the only change they wish to take place would be the abolition of charges.
Following a call-in by Buckley members of Flintshire Council, the proposed changes to car parking are to go back to Flintshire Council’s cabinet to be looked at again.