New parking charges at three Havering parks

Residents could soon be paying to park at three parks in the borough, under proposals slammed by the main opposition party on Havering Council.

The proposals will see car parking charges being introduced at Lodge Farm Park, Cottons Park and Upminster Park.

Cllr Linda Hawthorn (Residents Association, Upminster) said: “The car park by the New Windmill Hall in Upminster Park is set aside for users of the hall and the park.

“Only a few weeks ago the council agreed to press ahead with plans to lease the hall to a community group, now it has made that more difficult by introducing unnecessary car parking charges.”

But cabinet member for towns, culture and communities, Cllr Andrew Curtin, said: “We want our parks to be visited by families and people who are genuinely using the parks and these parking charges will help to ensure parking spaces are not taken up by commuters who park their cars in our parks while they work or visit our Town Centres.

“Parking at our parks will be free on Sundays.”

Cllr Clarence Barrett (Residents Association, Cranham), said: “There should be absolutely no car park charges in any of our parks.

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“The administration is trying to justify the charges by claiming the parks are full up with commuters.

“However, Upminster Park has a barrier in place until 9.30am every morning to overcome this problem.

“Similar methods of deterrence, such as maximum stay lengths, can easily be introduced to deal with commuter parking issues without having to charge.

“However, the real motive behind this is simply a money making exercise which penalises genuine park users.”

The proposals were voted for at last weeks Highways Advisory Committee with all five Conservative members voting for the scheme while the Labour, Independent Residents’ Group and the Residents’ Association members voted against.

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