Parking charges force shop to shut every Monday

Parking charges can hit trade
Parking charges can hit trade
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Councillor Roger Price

Concern as Fareham council tax rise soars – again

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A CONTROVERSIAL increase in car parking charges has hit one shop so badly it is closing for an extra day a week.

Ann Denham has owned Chatterbox hairdressing salon in Mengham, Hayling Island, for more than 20 years but has been forced to close on Mondays because people are refusing to pay the increased car parking charges.

Councillors agreed to raise parking charges by 43 per cent across Havant borough’s car parks from next month.

Although it is the first increase in two years businesses say it will still have a negative effect on trade.

Mrs Denham said: ‘I’ve been here 23 years and I’ve been doing some clients’ hair for many years.

‘And some have said they can’t come to me anymore – not because they are dissatisfied with what I do, they feel they can no longer pay parking on top of paying for their hair.

‘Especially when you get free parking in West Town where there are three hair salons.

‘There is 30 minutes free parking but that’s nowhere near enough. It’s absolutely killing Mengham.

‘It’s not a decision I’ve taken lightly I can assure you.’

The new fees will see hourly parking rise from 70p to £1 and two hours’ worth from £1.50 to 1.60.

The council said rising inflation and benefit reforms had increased its costs and added over £1.5m to its expenditure, which has to be met by increasing some charges.

Councillor Andy Lenaghan, who represents Hayling West and voted against the charges, said increasing parking charges was not the way to claw back cash.

He has written to Havant MP David Willetts, requesting that he ask Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if there is anything he can do.

In his letter to Mr Willetts, Cllr Lenaghan said: ‘I believe the council is using car parking charges as a fiscal measure rather than the correct purpose of controlling parking and the environmental damage.

‘At the present time it is clearly being used to make up the shortfall in the difference between income from council tax and government grants to the detriment of the local traders especially in Hayling Island and Emsworth.’

Mr Willette was unavailable.