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Council 'dragging feet' over car park
12:17pm Friday 1st March 2013 in News
TRADERS in Upton-upon-Severn feel councillors are dragging their feet and keeping them shut out over the future of the town’s free car park.
Upton Town Council is considering the future of its car park in Old Street, with leasing it to Malvern Hills District Council to run as a pay and display one of the options on the table.
But some businesspeople and residents feel this would be a disaster for tourism and shopping in the town, and almost 1,500 people have signed a “Save Our Car Park” petition.
The issue was again up for discussion at the latest town council meeting but, after some discussion at the request of mayor Andrea Morgan, was adjourned.
Councillor Peter Webb, a member of the council’s car park working group, said the delay would allow for more information to be gathered and questions answered.
He said a leaflet, detailing the possible options, would then be made available to the public.
However he knocked back suggestions that traders and other local groups such as the sports club could join the council in a workshop to discuss options, saying it was better to get all the facts together first and then present them.
This left Upton Tourism and Trade chairman Annette Keyworth frustrated and saying she could not understand why the idea had been shot down “with no reason”.
During the meeting, a letter was read recalling when a car park at Link Top, in Malvern, became an “empty space” once charges were introduced.
Mrs Keyworth said the impact on local traders there was “immense”, to the extent that the decision was quickly reversed.
“Based on this, I would question why Upton Town Council is considering such a move,” she said.
She said she was also disappointed with the meeting and lack of progress.
“Clearly there had been no preparation from the council, which given that we had given up our time to come and hear their views, was very disappointing,”she said.
Coun Morgan said: “When we get the information back we will have a discussion with traders and the public about it. We want to get as much information as possible to put on the table.
“This is not being done behind anyone’s back. We don’t do things behind closed doors in this council.”