Valerie secures debate on parking and enforcement in Walsall South

On 24 May 2011 Valerie secured a debate in the House of Commons on the controversial new parking charges in Walsall town centre and presented a petition of over 700 names to Parliament from businesses and customers in Ablewell Street.

Local businesses have been hit hard since the introduction of parking charges on Ablewell Street, Lichfield Street and Station Street on 7th March 2011. Previously there had been two hours’ free parking. There are now strictly enforced charges of 20 pence per 10 minutes.  Some traders have lost as much as 50 percent of their trade since the charges were introduced.

The pre-recess adjournment debate took place on Tuesday 24th May 2011.  The Deputy Leader of the House responded to the concerns expressed by local traders.  The petition will be sent to the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Select Committee.

Valerie Vaz MP said:

“I am pleased to have secured this debate on behalf of local businesses in Walsall South. The new parking charges have hit shoppers and businesses hard at a time when trading conditions are already difficult. I hope that the Government will listen to local people’s concerns. It is getting very difficult to enjoy what the Town Centre has to offer. And the fine if you are one minute late is disproportionate. £50 ”

“The petition of over 700 signatures shows just how strong feelings are on this issue. I urge Walsall Borough Council to listen to the views of local people and review the scheme as soon as possible to allow free parking again on those streets.  This should not be an income generating scheme.”

You can see the transcript of Valerie’s speech here.