Stevenage MP responds to Ed Balls free parking criticism

Stephen McPartland

Stephen McPartland - Credit: Archant

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland has responded to criticism from Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls.

The Labour politician visited the town on Monday with Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) leader Sharon Taylor.

He said Mr McPartland needed to “see sense” over his petition for three hours free parking in the town centre before he would be taken seriously.

Mr Balls went on to say the top three priorities for Stevenage residents were “affordable homes, jobs for young people and action to tackle the cost of living crisis”.

Responding to these comments, Mr McPartland said: “I am shocked Ed Balls is talking down our town and disappointed the local Labour Party did not stand up to him. I am proud of Stevenage and proud of local hardworking people who are recovering from Labour’s Great Recession, which caused so much damage.

“Stevenage is leading the economic recovery and over 1,000 local people have already signed my petition for three hours free carparking in the town centre. It is clear that Stevenage Borough Council are addicted to the more than £3million they receive in car parking fees and do not care they are ripping off local people and preventing the regeneration of our town centre. The Portas Review clearly showed that carparking charges are the biggest barrier to town centre regeneration.

“You can sign my petition online and maybe SBC could invest some of their usable reserves which have almost doubled from £10.3million in 2010 to £19.7million in 2013.”