Charge increase is not way forward

I read with amazement that North Tyneside Council, when they say and promised they are doing everything to attract visitors to Whitley Bay, then put the parking charge up at the popular Rendezvous Cafe car park to £1.20 from 80p just as the spring/summer season is starting.

If this is the council’s way of connecting with the public, the residents of Whitley Bay who pay council tax anyway, then they have to look at themselves as a functioning council.

I have also been made aware that the popular ice cream van, that has been at the St Mary’s Island for decades is to be disbanded, presumably in light of the proposed visitor centre, but that will be sometime before it is built, if in fact the funding is available.

I am not wholly familiar with parking charges across the borough, but I know that any opportunity to bring in revenue via parking and parking fines seem to fill the present council with delight, but it is alienating what it is trying to achieve, greater footfall for the coastal strip.

You only have to visit the Northumberland seaside towns and market towns to see a completely different approach to parking, with three hours free in Morpeth, where shopping is good, the atmosphere in the town is pleasant, and people do visit, more so now as parking is free for some hours.

Blyth seafront is free and a lovely promenade to enjoy.

In regards the proposal to set up a ‘Coast Council’ (News Guardian, April 2), I feel in whatever form this would be it would be a support to the council regeneration team as it would be a voice, from residents, who wish to have some input into the plans that were aired prior to Christmas at the new Customer First Centre event.

They were extensive and expensive, and residents are concerned at how they will be delivered successfully.

We have certain things in place now, put there by different administrations, some are right for the area and some not so, but they are in place and it is now time in 2015, with these new outline plans, that the concerned public need to be involved so public money is spent wisely.

The residents of this seaside town who enjoy a walk along their promenade, and who for whatever reason have to go there by car, should not now have to find a £1 coin and 20p piece.

If the charge had to be increased, why not a straight £1? This would have been easier to administrate.

I also feel the council put extra enforcement on this particular car park to target the poor motorist who may inadvertently just have forgotten to buy a ticket or put out a disabled badge.

Putting up parking charges at the popular car parks in North Tyneside, taking away ice cream vans which have been part of Whitley Bay for generations, is not the way forward.

This all comes on the back of the council awarding members a 24 per cent rise in allowances and then hitting residents and visitors with increased parking charges.

Not good customer service, I feel.

Heather Carr

Whitley Bay