December 11 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, November 2, 2013
A council chief has hit back at claims that car-park charges are damaging trade in North Walsham and says the town should look for other reasons to explain its difficulties.
Rhodri Oliver, deputy leader of North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), was responding to criticism of car-park income figures for the first six months of the current financial year, compared to the same period in 2012-2013.
Statistics show that income in North Walsham dropped by 3.45pc in that period while every other town in the district saw an increase.
North Walsham Town Council is writing to NNDC expressing its concern.
Councillor Dave Robertson said he believed charges were deterring visitors to the town: “It’s making it harder for the shopkeepers to survive. These charges are having a definite impact. Everybody is watching the pennies and halfpennies,” he said.
But Mr Oliver, whose responsibilities include NNDC’s corporate assets, said that in Stalham and Fakenham, where parking charges were the same as in North Walsham, there had been an increase in income over the same period, of 27.64pc and 14.04pc respectively.
“North Walsham needs to make sure it’s a place that people want to come and visit,” he said. “Fakenham and Stalham have managed to do that but I don’t think North Walsham has, based on these figures.”