OVER 1,100 people have signed a petition against introducing car parking charges in Shirley town centre.
At Tuesday night’s Full Council meeting councillors crossed swords over the issue, with accusation flying freely around the chamber.
Originally there were fears that fees could be brought in to car parks and access roads for people who stayed longer than 30 minutes.
But now the ruling Conservative group has said that the proposals being considered would only see charges introduced for visitors stopping over three hours.
They claimed this wouldn’t impact on shoppers, but the Lib Dems claimed the Tories were in “total disarray” on the issue.
Coun Norman Davies (Lib Dem, Olton) told the meeting: “This will affect those people work in Shirley.”
Speaking afterwards, Solihull MP Lorely Burt said: “If these employees don’t have somewhere to park, we will see displacement and they’ll end up using local streets.”
The Tories hit back, accusing the Lib Dems of scare-mongering about the scale of the scheme.
Coun Hannah Tildesley (Con, Shirley West): “I don’t like to play politics, but I think what you’ve done is disgraceful.”
Cabinet member for transport and highways, Coun Ted Richards, said any charges wouldn’t come into force until 2013-14 at the earliest.