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Opinion: Council's parking charge hike a mistake

PUBLISHED: 08:00 16 June 2019

Jon Cruddas

Jon Cruddas

Archant

As residents of Havering know, these past few weeks have seen the scrap of thirty minutes free parking around the borough, and the implementation of new parking charges.

Local businesses who benefit from 30 free minutes of parking outside their shops on high streets around Havering will undoubtedly bear the brunt of this ill thought out policy.

In a country whose economic future hangs in the balance because of Brexit deals, its even more important now than ever to support small businesses.

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With free parking taken from residents, the urge to 'pop to the local shop' for bread and milk or to put on the lottery will decline as residents venture to high earning supermarket chains where free parking is available.

At a time when high streets across the country are failing, local shops are often social hubs for the community.

We should be looking to support and encourage small and independent businesses set up by local entrepreneurs, not stifle their ability to earn a decent living.

I can't help but think this is a money-making scheme from Havering's Tory-lead council.

For a party that is supposedly 'pro business' I am surprised at the Tory council for implementing a policy such as this one. Support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has clearly gone out the window in an effort to line the council's pockets.

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