SOLIHULL’S MP has raised controversial plans to scrap free parking in Shirley in Parliament.
Lorely Burt has slammed Solihull Council’s proposals to introduce charges in car parks across Shirley, branding the scheme ‘crazy.’
To cut costs, the council is considering introducing parking charges for anything over a 30 minute stay at car parks currently free in the area.
Speaking in Parliament this week, the MP said: “It will mean that the hard-working shopkeepers will be starved of business because people will be unwilling to pay the charges, especially when there is free parking down the road at an out-of-centre Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s.
“Councils should be looking for ways of encouraging people to use local shops, not discouraging them from doing so. I have big worries that this will be the last straw for Shirley.”
Meanwhile a petition launched by local campaigner and former councillor Tim Hodgson against the plans is also gathering pace.
Mr Hodgson said: “I’ve stood on doorsteps and listened to local residents. They are furious that the council are making it harder for them to support their local shops. They are all feeling the pinch at the minute and many have said that this is the last thing that they need at this difficult economic time.”
While Shirley would bear the brunt of the new charges, car parks in Knowle and Malvern and Brueton Parks are also under review.
Last week a Solihull Council spokeswoman stressed no final decision had been made and the budget would go before the relevant committees.