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Charges for village car parks ‘back on agenda’
Rejected plans to start charging in Craven’s free car parks could be given a fresh airing.
The council, which is facing additional cuts of £334,000 over the next three years, has been warned that it needs to make tough decisions.
And on top of three years already of cost cutting, Craven District Council is running out of options.
It last tried and failed to introduce charging in free car parks at Cross Hills , Gargrave , Embsay and Bentham two years ago following objections from either ward members or North Yorkshire County Council.
It did, however, close or hand over responsibility of public toilets to parish councils, and could do the same thing with village car parks.
Other options available could be increasing charges and fees or introducing charges to currently free services, such as the collection of garden waste.
Council leader, Councillor Chris Knowles-Fitton, said last week that councillors should not be frightened of making the right decisions for the good of Craven “We have to find another £334,000 in savings over the next three years and, by carefully examining all the options now, we will give ourselves the best chance of making the fairest and most equitable judgements,” he told last week’s full council meeting.
“Some will be unpopular and we must recognise now that the demands upon us all will be greater than ever before.
“We must not be frightened to make unpopular decisions if we believe that they represent the best interests and provide best value for the residents of Craven.”
Coun Knowles-Fitton called on all councillors to recognise the problems that the council faced.
“This administration recognises these challenges and won’t shrink from doing what is required, but I hope that members of the opposition will bear in mind these challenges and help work with us to get the fairest outcomes,” he said.
In the last round of savings, the council withdrew CCTV coverage in the town centre, started charging for dog waste bags, scrapped free refreshments for council staff and put up charges and fees.