Business will be hit by parking
SIR - The point of the changes to parking in Baldock is to encourage customers to the local businesses we have been told. But the truth is the lack of parking for clients attending longer meetings will force companies to move away. Staff parking, already
SIR - The point of the changes to parking in Baldock is to encourage customers to the local businesses we have been told. But the truth is the lack of parking for clients attending longer meetings will force companies to move away. Staff parking, already a huge problem for businesses, will become worse when the new regulations take effect.
A representative for us attended North Herts District Council's area meeting at St Mary's Church Hall on March 30. There were 80 to a 100 people at the meeting hoping to influence the council on the breakdown of parking restrictions. Our hope was some of the parking restrictions would be lifted including parking bays for visitors to the town to increase the maximum stay from two to four hours to accommodate our visiting clients.
We wanted to suggest the provision of and location for another car park to enable people who work in the area to avoid wasting time searching for parking spaces. This would also reduce the effects of our parking in residential areas.
Unfortunately it was announced from the outset that only registered speakers would be heard and that no comment from the public was allowed. The temptation to speak up was high given the subject matter, but as soon as someone did the Chairman said he would clear the room and close the meeting to the public if it happened again.
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It was what the council referred to as Restriction of Parking order No 2 which went through. We understand now that the earliest that the parking restrictions can be revised is in six months time.
A member of the public, registered to speak for the residents spoke exceptionally well, having done extensive research himself, and gained 25 parking spaces for residential permit holder's only. Though the local businesses were acknowledged to have sent 121 objections or suggestions, no representative from them was solicited to speak.
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Unless this letter is published then the council may carry on unaware of our interest and constructive suggestions.
The stated reason for the parking changes is to help local shops and businesses, in fact their needs are being disregarded. Many businesses in Baldock feel so affronted by the council's dismissive attitude, demonstrated at the meeting, they are jointly approaching the press to publicise their problems and to further emphasise the strong sense of grievance. In the current adverse economic climate we believe the local Council should be actively supporting the survival of businesses, not introducing restrictive environmental measures seriously undermining and jeopardising the survival of our businesses.
Are the council trying to push businesses out of town in favour of the 'pavement culture' we have heard mentioned? Perhaps they want a 'ghost town' with no job opportunities locally or maybe it is a 'dormitory' town the council are looking to create.
Displayplan Ltd, Clare House, High Street, Baldock
CHQ Partnership, Tannery House, 23 High Street, Baldock, Herts
The White Lion, High Street, Baldock, Herts