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Fears plans to charge for car parking in more of Flintshire could kill off towns

PLANS to change some free car parks across Flintshire into paid for facilities would ‘kill towns and inhibit developments’ a meeting has heard.

Flintshire County Council wants to introduce charges at certain locations in Buckley, Connah’s Quay and Flint – but not in Queensferry, Saltney, Shotton or Talacre.

Shoppers in Mold and Holywell are already expected to pay for car parking whereas all other council car parks are free.

The plans were called in to an environment overview and scrutiny committee meeting yesterday afternoon by angry Buckley councillors, who demanded the recommendations be scrapped.

The proposals are part of wider plans to transfer power for civil parking enforcement from the police to council wardens.

Cllr Mike Peers, who represents Buckley Pentrobin, branded the plans ‘inconsistent’.

Speaking at the meeting he said: “In Buckley, four out of six car parks would be charged, but none in Shotton.”

He explained that both towns are similar in terms of the number of occupied and vacant shops and businesses they have.

Car parks which would begin to charge include Buckley’s Argoed Road, Bistre Avenue, Black Horse, Brunswick Road; Connah’s Quay Somerfield and the railway station and Swan Street in Flint.

Buckley Mountain Cllr Carol Ellis said it was a case of ‘inequality’.

Buckley Bistre East Cllr Richard Jones said: “You’re going to kill these towns’ businesses, inhibit development and push residents to other areas such as Cheshire Oaks and Broughton Shopping Park where parking is free.”

Historically Flintshire County Council’s precursor authority Delyn, charged for car parking, whereas Alyn and Deeside did not and the level of parking charges has not been reviewed for more than 18 years.

A report from officers at the authority says the changes are aimed at ‘addressing this inconsistency’ in the way the council’s car parks are managed.

The report will now be referred back to cabinet before any decision is made.

If the plans get the go-ahead motorists would pay 20p per hour for up to three hours or £2 all day, with the exception of Flint Station car park which will be £3 and Love Lane car park in Mold which will be 50p. Charges will apply from 8am-3pm, Monday-Saturday.