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Lyminge Residents in Anger at Parking Devastation

May 28, 2006 9:59 AM

No Parking logoA huge crown of over 160 angry Lyminge residents crammed into the village car park on Saturday morning. They had gathered to present a massive 1700 name petition against recently introduced parking charges in the car park. Since these charges have been introduced, trade in the village Coffee shop is reported to be down a massive 40%, the hardware store is down by 35% and the number of visitors to the library has collapsed by 50%.

The villagers presented the petition to Lib Dem Leader Cllr Lynne Beaumont, who was astounded at the huge turn out. Attempts to present the petition to local Conservative Cllr and member of the ruling Shepway District Cabinet (which introduced the charges) Cllr David Monk appeared less than enthusiastic to receive it.

Cllr Lynne Beaumont said:

"These parking charges are ripping the heart out of our communities, at a time when we should be looking to return back to community life. They have been introduced by the ruling Tory cabinet in an attempt to raise extra money to fund the massive losses now being incurred by them completely mis-managing the new recycling service. This recycling service was overspent by £1,200,000 last year and is going to cost another £1,000,000 to replace brand new collection lorries that have proved useless.

Members of the village community told Cllr Beaumont that they would accept a compromise of getting a 2 hour free parking concession. Cllr Beaumont told the meeting that she would use every available opportunity to press the ruling Tory cabinet to change their mind on these blanket charges, and allow at least some free parking.

It is understood that the car park charges will raise about £1,800 per year. Cllr Beaumont said:

"Local trade has been devastated, and road safety compromised due to people parking on the busy valley road, all for the sake of this relatively small sum. How ridiculous is this?

"The ruling Conservatives are in crisis. Villages like Lyminge are being destroyed by these charges. These desperate desparate measures from a remote and failing Cabinet. I will fight this case and others as hard as possible. I urge all local residents to help me help them by writing to Cllr Robert Bliss, Leader of Shepway District Council, Civic Centre, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone, Kent."