Council pledges more time to consult on parking fees

Derbyshire Dales District Council has pledged to give more time to listen to local traders’ concerns after a public outcry over plans to increase parking fees.

Following petitions from Matlock, Ashbourne and Bakewell representatives the authority has agreed to meet with traders – even though the public consultation officially closed on Friday, June 21.

Sean Buff, parking representative for Matlock Town Team, said: “I’m pleased the council have listened to us. There is a very strong public feeling that increasing fees will be devastating for business. Hopefully they will take on board what we have to say.”

Richard Young, owner of the Original Farmers Market Shop and Bakewell business representative, said: “We are convinced that by investigating other options, the council’s income can be maintained or even increased without an across the board rise of car parking fees.”

As the public consultation drew to a close on Friday morning, Richard Young, Stephen Murphy and Tony Grace, representatives of Bakewell, Matlock and Ashbourne respectively, handed separate petitions – totalling nearly 9,000 – to Sandra Lamb, head of democratic services for the district council.

Cllr Lewis Rose, leader of the authority, said: “We acknowledge that the traders have gone to a great deal of trouble to submit their own proposals and we are happy to discuss these again.”