Ed Balls criticises Stevenage MP over free parking petition

Ed Balls, MP Shadow Chancellor for the Labour Party and Sharon Taylor leader of Council Stevenage ar

Ed Balls, MP Shadow Chancellor for the Labour Party and Sharon Taylor leader of Council Stevenage arrive at The Hyde in Stevenage - Credit: Archant

Labour politician Ed Balls has called for Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland to “see sense” over his petition for free parking in the town.

The Shadow Chancellor visited the Hyde Neighbourhood Centre, in Stevenage, with Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) leader Sharon Taylor and East of England MEP Richard Howitt. They visited the Credit Union, the Greenside Studio and The Hyde Bakery.

Mr Balls criticised a petition launched earlier this month by the town’s MP calling for three hours free parking in the town centre. Mr McPartland says the council’s charges are “ripping people off”.

Responding to these claims, Mr Balls said: “What Stevenage people need the most is affordable homes, jobs for young people and action to tackle the cost of living crisis. If their Tory MP started to see sense on some of these issues, I think his ideas would be taken a little more seriously.

“People in the town don’t think he is facing up to the big issues. If he’s proposing free parking then he’s got to tell us how he’s going to pay for it - Stevenage people don’t want tax increases or service cuts so where’s the money going to come from?


You may also want to watch:


“As I understand it, the council experimented with free parking in the past and found that it made no significant difference to the number of patrons. It doesn’t sound like a good idea to me.”

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter