Councillors vote to increase and introduce car parking charges

Ahead of striking rates this evening at a special meeting, Councillors have voted to increase car parking charges in some areas and introduce charges at East Strand and Dunluce Avenue, Portrush

This move was followed by the DUP putting forward a motion to rescind the decision earlier this week. The notice to rescind was proposed and signed by Councillor Callan, Councillor McAuley, Alderman Finlay, Councillor Scott, Alderman S McKillop, Councillor McLean, Councillor Knight-McQuillan, Alderman Robinson, Alderman McCorkell.

A 30p hourly rate will be levied at East Strand and Dunluce Avenue, Portrush. Exemptions will be made for Portrush medical centre attendees.

A £1 per hour rate will be introduced at the harbour. Charges will apply all year.

Townhead Street car park in Ballymoney will become chargable (local residents will be free) while Castle Street will become free.

In a statement, UUP’s Norman Hillis said “I am more than disappointed that Causeway Coast and Glens Council has decided tonight to support seasonal car parking charges in two car parks in Portrush. This despite the idea being heavily defeated in January. The DUP brought forward a rescinding motion based on the belief that it would pull us out of the current financial crisis brought about by a serious lack of budget management and save 2% on the rates.

Regrettably, this is only a short term measure, literally a “finger in the dyke”. Unless we tackle our £31K wage bill representing at least half our expenditure, we will be in a crisis situation again next year.

Needless to say, I am very disappointed my own party buckled under the pressure and abandoned a long-held policy of opposing coastal car park charges.

I do regret that I was out of the country and not able to oppose this foolish decision.

Portrush this coming season will have no Waterworld, no Dunluce Centre, no Airshow, possibly ( I hope I am wrong) no Barry’s and now charges in two car parks. A really toxic mix. If any of those voting for car parking charges think this will help our tourism offering they will soon get their answer.”

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