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Residents plan protest against plans to scrap free parking in Upminster and Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 18:00 26 February 2019

Local business owners are incensed that Havering Council plans to scrap free parking in Hornchurch and Upminster.

Local business owners are incensed that Havering Council plans to scrap free parking in Hornchurch and Upminster.

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Residents have planned a peaceful protest against the council’s plans to scrap 30 minutes of free parking in Upminster and Hornchurch, ahead of the final decision set to be made this week.

Local business owners are incensed that Havering Council plans to scrap free parking in Hornchurch and Upminster. Trader Barry Major  has organised a petition against the move.Local business owners are incensed that Havering Council plans to scrap free parking in Hornchurch and Upminster. Trader Barry Major has organised a petition against the move.

The protest is planned for 6.45pm tomorrow (Wednesday, February 27) outside of Havering Town Hall in Main Road, Romford before the full council meeting - where councillors will make a final decision on the budget.

The meeting is due to start at 7.30pm, and councillors will discuss proposals that include improvements in street cleaning and road repairs, a rise in council tax, 150 million pumped into building more “genuinely affordable” housing and plans to scrap free parking in some parts of the borough.

One of the most heavily contested proposals is to scrap 30 minutes of free car parking in Upminster and Hornchurch.

The council has suggested the changes are in a bid to save money, and also to bring Upminster and Hornchurch town centres in line with Romford town centre parking charges.

Havering council are proposing to cut 30 minutes of free car parking in Upminster Havering council are proposing to cut 30 minutes of free car parking in Upminster

More than 7,500 people have already signed a petition against the car parking charge changes, and Barry Major, who started the petition and has organised the protest told the Recorder: “I just think it is important that we made our voices heard, it will be a peaceful protest but this is our last stand, and our last chance to get our point across so it would be great to get as many people down as possible.

“I have already had interest from some of the business owners, but really we need the public to get down aswell.

“We have built up great momentum with the petition, and altogether I think we are very close to reaching the 10,000 signature target.

“I have my fingers crossed that we get as many people as possible, and we can show the council just exactly how much support we have gained, and that we aren’t going away.”

Havering council are proposing to cut 30 minutes of free car parking in Upminster. Photo: Ken MearsHavering council are proposing to cut 30 minutes of free car parking in Upminster. Photo: Ken Mears

Other parking proposals include increasing charges from £1.50 for two hours to £2 for one hour, introducing a flat £1.50 charge to park on Sundays and a residents-only parking scheme in a 1km zone around town centres.

Councillor Osman Dervish, cabinet member for environment, said: “We are proposing to protect 30-minute free parking in local areas to support local trade.

“We are looking at proposals for removing free parking in certain town centres and commuter areas, bringing it in line with Romford town centre.”

To find out more information about the protest there is a Facebook page, and to sign the petition go to change.org.

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