Speaking to Causeway Coast Community this afternoon TUV Alderman Sharon McKillop said “I recognise that car parking charges are unlikely to be welcomed by people but I also recognise that they are unfortunately a necessary means of fundraising for the council. That said, charging needs to be sensible and take consideration of local circumstances. That is why I proposed that we should remove Portballintrae Beach Road from the designated list for proposed seasonal charging. The majority of the car park users are local people and not holiday makers. Imposing a charge here will impact on the health and wellbeing of some of the most deprived people in the Borough. Locals use the area to exercise and spend quality time with their families and this parking charge could deter them from doing so. It is important to remember as well that the village hall is located here also.
“However, these arguments were rejected with my proposal only receiving the support of my TUV colleagues and a single other councillor. It should be noted that it was agreed that an area will be cordoned off offering free parking to locals who use the village hall and shop but this would not have been even considered had it not been for my proposal and I continue to believe that the whole park should remain free of charging.
“ I am disappointed that people will have to pay to park in this area but believe it is important that people know that there was a voice of opposition raised to the proposal in the council and that it did lead to council subsiding to a small concession for village hall users.”