Town protests over plans for new parking charges

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Hundreds of people are expected to take part tomorrow in a public protest over plans to introduce car parking charges in Steyning.

Residents will be out in force in the High Street at 2.30pm demonstrating against the proposals put forward by Horsham District Council.

Resident Sheree Grindell said: ”The thing that makes Steyning such a special place is its community spirit. We would rather pay a little bit more to make sure we continue to have a High Street full of independent shops than see them close because people don’t want to pay for parking.”

Horsham Council says it can no longer afford to offer free parking in the rural towns. But Steyning Parish Council says it could keep parking free by raising additional funds via a ‘small increase’ in parish council tax.

Nick Hempleman, owner of The Sussex Produce Company, said: “Free parking is absolutely vital in a small town like Steyning. Without it you will see more businesses close - we’ve just lost our two bank branches - and once businesses start to close, more follow. You see that in high streets across the country.”