Uproar over County plan to introduce on-street parking charges in Seaton

SEATON town councillors and residents are outraged by plans to introduce parking charges in the area.

SEATON town councillors and residents are outraged by plans to introduce parking charges in the area.

Devon County Council has proposed implementing on-street pay and display areas on several roads in the town and along the seafront.

But this week the town council formally opposed the move at a meeting of its finance and general purposes committee.

Members of the public, who attended the meeting, questioned why they should have to pay for parking and not get adequate roads and services.

Pat Booth, from The Mariners Hotel, said: "We are a struggling seaside town and I think we have to remember that at the moment."

Gaynor Sedgwick, a member of Seaton Chamber of Commerce and bed and breakfast owner, said parking charges would impact on residents, businesses, tourists and accommodation providers in the town.

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She said: "Visitors to the town, whether they are looking to stay, shop or just walk on the seafront, will simply be deterred from coming to Seaton.

"It seems to me that Devon County Council is going to implement some parking restrictions and have named so many streets, because they expect us to object and want to reach a compromise."

Mayor Sandra Semple, who declared a prejudicial interest, because she lives on the seafront, and left the discussions, spoke as a member of the public.

She said: "If it's not broken, you don't need to fix it.

"We would like to see congestion in this town - but we haven't got enough people, let alone too many."

Former councillor Larry Garner said people would not pay and it would clutter the roads.

Councillor Mark Fisher questioned the cost involved and how it would be policed. He said: "They [DCC] have no mission statement. They have nothing."

Councillor John Meakin described it as "ludicrous" and simply a way for DCC to make money.

Chairing the meeting, Councillor Graham Jones called on residents to unite against the proposal.

He said: "The town council and individuals together have a much better chance of making DCC see the error of their ways.