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UKIP's John Beirne attacks parking scheme after 7,000 tickets are dished out
ALMOST 7,000 parking tickets were handed out to motorists in St Helens during the last year and the council raked in £183,058 in parking penalties.
Ex-Lib Dem John Beirne, who is back on the political scene after switching parties to UKIP, unearthed the information after submitting a Freedom of Information Request to the town hall.
The period in question is between February 1, 2013 and January 31, 2014.
The former councillor said that dishing out tickets would have a negative effect on revitalising the town centre economy.
He said: “Motorists should not be punished to make up the council’s funding problems.”
Asked if his views had credibilty given he was a town centre councillor when the then Lib Dem run council introduced the street parking regime in 2009, he replied: “And doesn’t Labour go on about it. They are in control and nothing has changed.
“I want some sort of investigation into the regime to find out whether the council is targeting specific areas.”
Beirne, owner of Avanti hair salon in the town centre, added: “I get customers coming telling me they are going to other towns such as Widnes.
“Whichever party is in power they need to find out what the problem is.”
While not addressing Beirne’s claims directly a council spokeswoman confirmed that the income stated was paid through several methods such as fixed penalties.
St Helens Council insists its charges for town centre car parks are more cheaper than many neighbouring boroughs and that its frere after 3pm promotion also draws in more shoppers late in the afternoon.
Local authority budget reports, however, have pointed to a reduction in footfall to the town centre in recent years, which is reducing income from car parks.
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