Cromer and Sheringham unite in opposition to plans for on-street parking meters
A referendum could be held to shame council chiefs into abandoning plans to drive forward on-street parking charges in north Norfolk.
Cromer mayor Tim Adams issued the warning during a packed meeting of the town's chamber of trade, amid fears the restrictions proposed by Norfolk County Council could 'potentially ruin' businesses in the town centre.
He claimed the local authority had no plans to consult the public over the proposals but pointed out local residents had already made their voices heard after previously rejecting the move.
Now a special meeting is being organised in the community hall, Cromer, on Wednesday, March 9, at 7pm to allow local residents to air their views.
Mr Adams said: 'We've done enough consultation on this and the answer has always been 'no'. If they insist on doing this to the town we should publicly shame them with a referendum, I am quite angry about this.'
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Fears were voiced that on-street parking charges could lead to fewer spaces in the town centre and drive elderly shoppers, who rely on their cars, out of the town.
Tracey Khalil, president of Cromer Chamber of Trade, said: 'This is an attack on residents, they are the people who are going to suffer.
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'We're a relatively poor area, we have high areas of deprivation in the town; if these people don't come in then we can't survive.'
North Norfolk District Council has threatened to withdraw from the Norfolk Parking Partnership in protest at the move to on-street parking charges. But talks are planned to broker a new deal.
Councillor Mick Castle, chairman of the parking partnership, said: 'Parking enforcement is the only way to tackle anti-social parking and keep traffic moving in resort towns like Cromer and Sheringham.
'Yarmouth has had on-street parking on the seafront for many years now – but interestingly hasn't had the benefit of 45 minutes free parking as is proposed for Cromer and Sheringham.'
What do you think about the proposed on-street parking charges?