Ken Hind, Ribble Valley Borough Council Leader, in a meeting with the Leader of Lancashire County Council, County Councillor Geoff Driver, has urged Lancashire Council Council not to introduce parking meters on the streets of Citheroe and other parts of Ribble Valley and think again on the County's budget parking proposal.
Ken Hind commented, ''There is a good balance of parking in Ciltheroe and the Ribble Valley. Long term Car parks controlled by the Borough Council and short term free parking for 2 hours is available on the streets, which are controlled by the Lancashire County Council.''
''The Borough Council have requested that we take over from the County Council control of the parking on our streets in the past always to be rejected. If the Borough control parking one authority produces an overall parking policy for our community .We are seeing an increase in parking in our town centres in Cliitheroe, Whalley and Longridge due to an increasing population.Shop keepers and market traders are pressing the Borough council to consider periods of free parking in some areas to increase the footfall in retail centres and attract Ian increase in the volume of shoppers. It is argued this will give shoppers reasonable time which they currently enjoy with 2 hour free parking on the streets.”
''The County Council proposal is a backward step and will damage town centres .It will undermine the policy of the Ribble Valley Borough Council to drive the local economy by improving town centres, promoting heritage,and tourism - creating more jobs.”
''This is merely a revenue raising,measure badly thought out, without considering the consequences for business and the future our town centres.''
''Ribble Valley Borough Council has not had the opportunity to respond to this proposal but I shall urging my colleagues to respond strongly to any consultation and reject this proposal.”
Councillor Ged Mirfin, who will be standing in the Whalley Painter Wood Ward in tthe Borough Council Elections in 2019 states, “This is a penny pinching measure. County might gain a few more pounds a week in revenue but the consequences in terms of lost revenue in business rates as retail outlets decide either not to re-locate to the Ribble Valley or shut up shop altogether could have potentially devastating consequences for the business community. This is a retrograde step - the Grimsey Review and its follow-up have been promoting the idea of free parking in town Centres. I will be reminding City Cllr Driver of this when I provide City Cllr Ian Brown a copy so that he can give it to Geoff in person reminding him that whatever revenue streams County come up with place additional unnecessary burdens on Tier 2 Authorities.”
Kevin Horkin who will be standing for the Conservatives in the 2019 Borough Elections states, “This is the daftest idea I’ve ever heard. Business Rates will become the lifeblood of Local Authorities over the next few years - we want to encourage businesses not actively discourage them by putting further obstacles in their way. I will be lecturing our City Cllrs to remind Geoff Driver that the Ribble Valley is not a cash cow to be milked for revenue at every turn.”