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Southgate and Winchmore Hill traders call for live debate on parking charges
Traders in Southgate and Winchmore Hill, angered by parking charges, have challenged the councillor responsible to a live debate on the issue.
Independent businesses argue the introduction of Sunday parking charges in Enfield Town in January will drive shoppers to out-of-town retail parks and away from local high streets. They also want 20 minutes free parking to be introduced.
Now Vic Smith, who runs a bed shop in Dennis Parade, wants to meet Councillor Chris Bond (Lab), cabinet member for environment, with other traders to discuss the idea, which is backed by a petition signed by hundreds of people.
He said: “Enfield as a borough should be encouraging people to shop here, especially given the current economic situation.
“We need a firm commitment that parking charges won’t increase again or be rolled out across the borough. We should be fighting for Enfield businesses’ survival, not their demise.”
His call was supported by Sprint Printers owner Joe Frangiamore, Shirley Johnson of Hairtique, barber Chris Demetriou, keymaker Malcolm McGrath, shoe repairer Barry Holcroft.
A petition started by Conservative councillors calling for the reversal of Sunday parking charges in Enfield Town and for 20 minutes free parking has attracted more than 1,000 signatures. But they need 2,750 for the idea to be sent back to full council.
Cllr Bond told the Enfield Independent that there was “absolutely no plan” to roll out Sunday parking charges anywhere else in the borough.
He said: “I am not going to roll this out anywhere but Enfield Town. It’s for Enfield Town only to increase the turnover of parking spaces.
“If it doesn’t work then we have to look at it again, but we need to give it at least 12 months to see the result.
“I’m happy to meet traders or anybody one on one to debate this, but I’m not going to take part in a shouting match that just goes over the same points we made in council meetings.”
Traders said the council should seek to raise the £100,000 estimated to be made by the changes in other ways, such as by advertising on the back of parking tickets.
Enfield Town businesses told the Enfield Independent last week that they had lost 20 per cent of trade on Sundays since the changes and accused the council of committing “political suicide”.