Shrinking of parking spaces DELAYED as pressure builds to reverse decision

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Pressure is building on MK Council to reverse its decision to shrink more than a quarter of the city’s parking spaces following public outcry.

But this week the decision has been called-in by opposition councillors and protest groups - forcing the controversial move to be delayed.

The plans faced severe criticism from the public following the Citizen’s front page on November 26.

A campaign against shrinking bays was then launched and has been signed by more than 1,600 people.

Linda Inoki, chairman of pressure group Xplain, said: “It’s a stupid idea and a reckless waste of £300,000.

“Obviously it will make life more difficult for the elderly, disabled, people with children and employees in a hurry to park safely without damaging their cars. People will vote with their wheels and trade in CMK will suffer.”

The idea behind the plan was to make room for 235 new spaces for employees - at a hefty cost of £1,277 each.

The call-in by Xplain, Lib Dem leader Councillor Douglas McCall and Tory spokesman for transport and highways Councillor Alex Walker, follows news that the council has brought in over £9million from parking profits with just three other cities outside London bringing in more.

Mr Walker said: “The pressure is really on the council now to re-consider this decision and withdraw it.

“It is a short term option with long term costs for drivers.

“With that kind of income from parking charges I think it is only fair to invest much more into serious solutions to tackle CMK’s parking shortage.”

The decision will now be reviewed by a cross-party group of councillors at an executive scrutiny panel on December 23.

Councillor Sam Crooks believes £300,000 is a “waste” of money at a time when the council is having to find savings of £22million from next year’s budget.

He said: “This large amount of money is being spent in the wrong way. It could be used to help our day centres, which are now facing closure, or bring back wardens who are being done away with.

“£300,000 spent on re-drawing spaces is a waste of money.”