Free-parking petition handed to council

Chris Thorne, let, presents his petition to Ashfield District Council Chief Executive Philip Marshall.
Chris Thorne, let, presents his petition to Ashfield District Council Chief Executive Philip Marshall.

A PETITION campaign calling for parking charges in Hucknall to be scrapped will shortly reach its climax.

Hucknall resident Chris Thorne launched the campaign as part of a plea for more to be done to boost the town centre.

He has presented the petition, which has 4,838 signatures, to Ashfield District Council’s chief executive, Philip Marshall.

The next step is that Mr Thorne is to attend a meeting of the council on Thursday July 26, when a debate about his campaign is scheduled.

He will be taking the opportunity to address the council during a permitted time of five minutes, with a discussion by members to follow.

“I will not ease off in my campaign until I get an answer from the council as to why it has doubled its parking charge from 20p to 40p an hour,” said Mr Thorne.

“This decision defies logic when Hucknall has so many empty shops. I have become aware that more and more Hucknall people are now driving to Bulwell to do their shopping because they can get free parking there.”

Mr Thorne said he strongly disputed a claim that money raised from the parking charges was financing the council’s front-line services.

He said: “I have obtained information from the council under the Freedom Of Information Act which shows that in the financial year of 2011-12, its metered car parks operated at quite a substantial loss.

“Scrapping the car-parking charges would be an immediate step towards stimulating regeneration of Hucknall High Street, which is my main objective.”

n OUR PHOTO shows Mr Thorne (left) handing over the petition to Mr Marshall — DISPIC NHUD12-1583-2