Catterick businesses challenge council’s White Shops parking decision

The car park at White Shops, Catterick Garrison.

Businesses have submitted a complaint about Richmondshire District Council’s handling of a petition calling for parking charges to be abolished near White Shops in Catterick Garrison.

The petition was discussed by the councillors at a meeting in December.

It was submitted by local business owners who are angry at the impact on trade of junction improvements at White Shops.

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Although there was backing from several local and opposition councillors for the petition, the issue was eventually referred for the council’s scrutiny committee to debate, with a task group formed to look at the issues.

The scrutiny committee later recommended that free parking remained at Hildyard Row car park until improvements to the junction are completed.

But they did not back the call for parking fees to be removed.

Instead, charges are set to increase once the work is completed.

Philip Carter, who runs the Subway franchise at White Shops, has now submitted a complaint to the council about it’s handling of the petition.

It is claimed that the petition was not handled properly with the recommendations of the task group not considered by the scrutiny committee because no minutes were kept.

Mr Carted added in the complaint: “After considerable heated challenge as to why the deliberations and proposals from the task group were not being included and considered, the chairman then declared enough time had been spent on the challenge and that the committee would now discuss the petition.

“Almost immediately a proposal obviously written before the meeting was proposed by Cllr Cameron and seconded by Cllr Young.

“However, when challenged on the implications of the proposals the proposer and seconder were unable to give any answers e.g. what was the cost implication?

“This appeared to be pre-determination of a decision in what is I understand a committee which is apolitical.”

Mr Carted added that two local members Angie Dale and Helen Grant, both corporate board members, had been told they should not attend the original task group despite two Conservative members of the corporate board being allowed to attend and take part in the discussions and make proposals.

“As such they did not present their views to the task group,” he added.

Richmondshire District Council confirmed this week that the suspension of charges at the Hildyard Row car parking would be extended until the end of May while the roadworks continue.

A spokesman for the council said the petition would go back to the scrutiny committee for further consideration.