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New Cabinet to overturn evening parking charges

Conservative leader Stephen Baines and Liberal Democrats leader Janet Battye, announce coalition at Halifax Town Hall

Conservative leader Stephen Baines and Liberal Democrats leader Janet Battye, announce coalition at Halifax Town Hall

Calderdale’s new council leader Stephen Baines has vowed to overturn controversial evening car parking charges in Halifax town centre at the earliest opportunity.

The Labour group were forced out following a vote of no confidence by members of the opposing groups at a council meeting last week.

The motion came following the former Cabinet’s refusal to honour the parking charge reversal which had been backed by full council in February and amid accusations they had ignored local residents with its plans to redevelop Hipperholme crossroads.

Coun Baines said both issues will be put before Cabinet on August 18, he said: “It is my intention to fulfill the commitment I made to the public when I put forward the motion of no confidence.

“We will get those decisions overturned and implemented as soon as possible.”

However, drivers will still have to pay for evening parking until they are withdrawn.

Coun Baines said: “Unfortunately, as the law stands, it’s been published that the parking restrictions in place until they are legally removed.

“I know it willl be annoying, but we have to follow the law - if we don’t it can be overturned on a technicality, and that’s last thing I want.”

The redevelopment of the Hipperholme crossroads is still a possibility, and the Cabinet have already started working towards a newscheme.

Coun Baines said: “It is my hope that we will be able to retain the funding and work up a scheme that is acceptable to local residents.

“No one would deny that there is a major issue at Hipperholme, but when you get a petition that is signed by pretty much everyone in the village concerned, you can’t ignore it.”

Coun Baines has dismissed accusations by members of the Labour group that the no confidence vote was a pre-planned coup cooked up by the Tories and Lib Dems.

He said: “Much of the criticism is just sour grapes by the Labour group.

“This is the second challenge regarding leadership, because they did a similiar surprise move of no confidence againt me in 2009 and they’ve lost.

“So at the moment it’s 2-0 to me as far as the Labour group is concerned,” he added.

 

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