How do you feel about Enfield Council introducing parking charges on a Sunday? I feel very disappointed with their stance. Fortunately, my business, a coffee shop on Platform 1, Enfield Chase Station doesn't open on a Sunday, so I have no personal cross to bear on that count but I have been an Enfield resident for over 40 years and I've witnessed the demise of the High Street, as units are left empty.
Where is the sense of stability and community created by that?
It's nearly 6 months after the riots in Enfield that devastated us as a community but in the aftermath, we rebuilt our community and it's even stronger than before. It's important that this strong sense of community is supported and encouraged by Enfield Council, not torn apart.
Top 5 reasons for Enfield Council to DROP THE CHARGE....
1/ DROP THE CHARGE because economic times are really, really difficult for independent retailers. Enfield Council has recognised the problems that all retailers are facing and have provided the cash for an amazing 'We Love Enfield' campaign, promoting Enfield shops and businesses and highlighting all that's good about Enfield with posters, leaflets and social media and but have then eroded all the brilliance of deciding to do that, by actively discouraging people from visiting Enfield and pushing them towards the large retail parks, where parking is free, instead.
The Enfield Advertiser says that 'Councillor Del Goddard dismissed the opposition’s argument that the sky-high cost of parking was driving people from town centres adding that the woes of the high street had to be looked at “in context”.'
The Mary Portas review of the High Street is an extremely useful document to enable us to look at the situation, 'in context'. At the very beginning of the report, Mary sets out quite clearly 28 recommendations, for the high street. One recommendation mentioned in the first 10, of the report, concerns car parking. It says,
'Local areas should implement free controlled parking schemes that work for their town centres and we should have a new parking league table.'
Read the rest of Mary's report, here.
2/ DROP THE CHARGE because many people, especially families, used to choose to come to Enfield on a Sunday to take advantage of the free parking and then spend the money saved and more, in local businesses. That's not going to happen now!
3/ DROP THE CHARGE because having NO parking charges on a Sunday is a good step towards being greener, it encourages people, mainly people travelling with their family, to make a shorter journey in their car and to support their local community by shopping in it, thus promoting sustainability for Enfield, instead of pushing people to other boroughs, on longer car journeys.
The Enfield Independent reports that Councillor Chris Bond, cabinet member for environment, said that the charges on a Sunday were “designed to reduce congestion and on-street parking, encourage alternative forms of travel to the town centre and increase turnover of parking spaces”. I tried to believe that maybe it was a good thing to force people out of their cars and onto public transport but where's the logic in doing that on a Sunday, the most unreliable day of the week for public transport?
4/ DROP THE CHARGE because we need to encourage community, it seems nonsensical that local Sunday worshippers are going to pay to pray and be penalised with parking charges on their day of rest. Why don't Enfield Council give it a rest?
5/ DROP THE CHARGE because as people stop shopping in Enfield on a Sunday due to the charges and shops close down as they are not making enough money, no-one will want to come and park their car in Enfield anyway, so Enfield council, you will lose your car parking customers and you will lose your business rates customers too, so that leaves you in a worse situation, than if you would have DROPPED THE CHARGE!
Nick de Bois, MP, for Enfield North eloquently points out,
"The wonderful “We love Enfield” campaign, which was started by Fast Signs, one of our local businesses, immediately after the riots tore through the high street, is a prime example of how local businesses, close to their community, are entirely in touch with the individuals and locations for which they provide services. Subsequently, our local Labour council started a “Love your high street” campaign, which I was fully behind, to try to bring traffic to the high street. It is thus all the more baffling that the council has persisted in introducing a steep hike in parkingcharges, including for Sunday parking, that is causing economic distress to traders and frustration to residents and is penalising churchgoers. It is not acceptable."
If you support the plea for Enfield Council to DROP THE CHARGE, then please retweet this article, plus one it and share it on Facebook.
If you don't support free parking on Sundays, then please comment!
I truly can't understand the logic of introducing parking charges on a Sunday for Enfield, if I could, then perhaps I'd feel less annoyed!
Whatever you think or feel about this situation, I wish you well and hope you have a lovely day.
Read the Understanding High Street Performance report, here.
Read The Portas Review, here.