Dorset Council’s proposed car parking charges will make a long stay in Shaftesbury more expensive than Gillingham from next year. Town councillors are objecting to these plans.
Cllr John Lewer chaired Tuesday’s Planning meeting. He believes that there’s favouritism towards Gillingham. “They seem to have a hotline to whoever makes the decisions for Dorset Council,” he said.
“We cannot just be treated as a generator of money,” added Cllr Lewer. He opposed the recent move to introduce Sunday charges. “It’s not a rationalization process. It’s a money-raising process. And the thing that rankles with me is that we probably pay the most in parking charges to what is now Dorset Council. And we get nothing back in return.” Cllr Lewer told the meeting that locals were ‘still waiting’ for a weight limit on St John’s Hill. Cllr Proctor pointed out that Dorset Council had funded £5000 of new paving allowing easier vehicle access to Barton Hill field
Mayor Andy Hollingshead says the county-wide policy shows that Dorset Council doesn’t understand the north of the county. And Cllr Phil Proctor reminded councillors that Dorset Council sold the cattle market site to Lidl and 140 parking spaces were lost as a result. He wants Dorset Council to buy the land the supermarket doesn’t need and create a car park.
Councillors backed the Chamber of Commerce’s letter to Dorset Council, requesting pricing parity with Gillingham. The Chamber also wants thirty minutes of free parking at Bell Street and Angel Lane.
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