Thank you for publishing my letter on page 24 of your edition dated 18th June 2020 calling on Cheshire East Council to follow the excellent example set by the Tatton Estate regarding their car park in Knutsford and provide an hour's free car parking to support our community and local businesses.
To make matters worse, I have learnt that instead of allowing motorists to pay for car parking in cash, they are being required to pay by card (contactless or pin) or by downloading a private company's app. Some residents are suspicious of the dangers posed by loading such apps on their devices and as a result this further discourages shoppers to our town. I strongly oppose Cheshire East Council's decision not to allow motorists to pay for their parking in cash.
Our M.P., Fiona Bruce, is asking residents to sign a petition started by another local Conservative M.P. calling on Cheshire East Council not to reintroduce parking charges on their car parks.
I have signed that petition.
But life is not as simple as that.
The Labour/Independent Cheshire East Council are blaming the Conservative U.K. Government for being obliged to bring back the car park charges so quickly because the Government has failed to fully fill their shortfall in their funding caused by Covid19. Cheshire East Council states that they have suffered a shortfall in their income of about £ 60 million. Cheshire East Council states that in April the Government announced that local authorities would receive two tranches of funds to fill this void but so far only £ 19.69 million of this money has been received.
Cheshire East Council has launched its own petition calling on the Government to provide these promised funds as soon as possible.
I have also signed this petition and I hope others will do too.
Can I suggest that our residents and local businesses contact their local Conservative M.P. calling on them to use their influence on the Government to ensure that these much needed and promised funds are paid across to Cheshire East Council as soon as possible.
When these monies are received by Cheshire East Council, which I trust they soon will be, then surely there will be no excuse for Cheshire East Council in not providing one hour's free parking in their car parks during these very challenging times for our traders and businesses.
Coun Robert Douglas,