'Will you pay £14 a year to keep Hessle car parks free?'
A TOWN council is fighting back against plans to introduce car parking charges.
East Riding Council will be introducing charges in their car parks, possibly as soon as April.
But Hessle Town Council is bidding to take over the Hessle Foreshore and Town Square car parks and keep them free to use.
The council has sent letters to residents, asking if they would pay an extra £14 a year per household in council tax as part of the plan.
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Paul Hogan, Hessle Town and East Riding ward councillor, said this would raise the £84,000 a year needed to lease the car parks from county authority.
He said: "It is all about the local economy. Car parking charges are a risk to the town centre we can't afford to take.
"Businesses are struggling and introducing charges in the town would lead to a reduced footfall and a takings reduction.
"It could push some businesses over the edge.
"If people had to pay to park in the square, they would try to find parking along the side streets, which would lead to problems for residents trying to park themselves.
"We will wait and see how the consultation goes but so far the vast majority of people I've spoken to seem to think it is a great idea."
Despite fierce opposition, East Riding Council agreed to introduce charges to all its car parks in early 2010.
The implementation was delayed for two years because of the impact of the recession and will now only be introduced following two quarters of successive national economic growth.
East Riding Council argue it is unfair for drivers to be charged in some of its car parks and not in others.
Brian Fields, who lives in Hessle but runs a butcher's in Anlaby, is fully behind Hessle Town Council's plans and is urging other town and parish councils to consider the same idea.
He said: "I think it is a great idea to save the local shops and beat the car parking charges.
"I urge the other town and parish councils to look into a similar thing.
"The parking charges won't just have an impact on drivers but will also have an impact on people who don't have a car who like to walk to their local shops.
"People will go to supermarkets, where they can park for free and won't be looking at their watch.
"If these local shops are losing money because people have to pay to park than they might have to close down."
Residents can have their say on their proposals by e-mailing htc@ hessletown.karoo.co.uk up to November 30.