Howden councillor hits back at critics
by James Bright HOWDEN councillor Mark Preston has hit back at criticism from Howden Town Council (HTC).
Mr Preston was condemned by the local authority after releasing a newsletter voicing his displeasure that HTC decided against funding a proposal to extend the car park into the Ashes playing field.
It was to be funded by the Community Scheme and estimated to cost 28,000, with a 3,000 contribution from the town council.
It would have provided an additional 28 car parking spaces.
Coun Preston said that he appreciated that HTC would not get any direct financial benefit from the arrangement, as the rent would be payable to the Ashes playing field trust, but believed it could have been reduced by paying the amount over a two year period.
He revealed that most of the correspondence he receives from Howden residents is to do with parking or the lack of it on Howden's streets, and that with the development on the Geodis site possibly taking another two years before it is settled, and the future of the Press Association secure parking facilities off Station Road unknown, it would have helped solve the problem.
Currently there is a CPZ review underway which Mr Preston says was based on this additional parking being available because the ERYC recognise 'that further on-street restrictions are limited unless there is further off-street parking availability'.
He added: "For very little outlay, off-street parking could have been secured for years to come.
"I was elected by Howden residents to represent and speak for them on issues concerning Howden.
"If a decision is made concerning Howden, then I will comment on it, if that upsets or is in conflict with the town council, then I make no apologies for it.
"I am entitled to an opinion as is everyone else. It appears to me that if you hold an opinion that is at odds with the town council then you are in the wrong."
HTC chairman Ingrid Ridley said: "He was criticised because he put stuff out in his leaflet without discussion with the town council.
"It was discussed in November town council meeting which he didn't attend and he put out a leaflet without clarifying the reasons we had withdrawn funding.
"We have to work together."
She added that the council has rejected funding the scheme because: HTC would have received no income from it, the supermarket proposal has gone to appeal and is likely to be passed providing more parking, and a CPZ review is underway with evidence that the Ashes car park is not used to capacity.
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