Vow to fight Lytham parking plan as row erupts at County Hall

Park Street, Lytham is one of the roads which could be affected if the proposal comes to fruition
Park Street, Lytham is one of the roads which could be affected if the proposal comes to fruition
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Controversial plans to start charging for on-street parking in some Fylde towns have been branded “counter-productive”.

Fylde MP Mark Menzies has pledged to fight against Lancashire County Council’s proposal, aimed at addressing a £77m black hole in the authority’s finances.

Lytham is one of the towns named in the plans – which were debated this week only for the meeting to be halted amid chaos in the council chamber – but nowhere is immune from new parking meters if the plan is approved.

Mr Menzies said: “We should be doing everything we can to bring people into our town centres, not put them off.

“The county council may want to raise some revenue – it is not going to do it at the expense of our small businesses. That would be counter-productive.”

During a debate about the wider budget at Monday’s County Hall cabinet meeting, Liberal Democrat group leader David Whipp stood to present a 2,500-signature over the parking plans.

The move caused Conservative council leader Geoff Driver to adjourn the meeting – at which point County Coun Whipp claimed he was no longer “gagged” by rule changes restricting who can speak during Cabinet.

County Coun Whipp, who represents the Pendle area, then began to address the room, drawing County Coun Driver to his feet to stand directly in front of him.

A toe-to-toe discussion between the pair ended only when Conservative member Cosima Towneley intervened, urging County Coun Driver to “walk away”.

After the meeting resumed, no further discussion was permitted of the savings and revenue-raising measures, which Labour group leader Azhar Ali later labelled “an affront to democracy”.

The issue will now go before the full County Council in February.