MLA Maurice Bradley has described a call in from the Ulster Unionist Party in relation to car parking charges in tourist areas as farcical.
He said: “I have no desire to see car parking charges introduced, but I do expect all the ratepayers of this Borough to be treated equally.
“Parking charges in other towns have increased year on year; yet the introduction of charges in Portrush and other seaside towns has been met with raised eyebrows, despite the fact that the proposed tariffs are significantly lower than in other towns.
“I find it incredible that Councillor Hillis was supportive of car parking charges in Coleraine last year, but is against charges in Portrush.
“The UUP call in is suggesting to me that that ratepayers in Coleraine should be subsidising free car parking in other areas of the Borough.
“Why should those who live and work in Coleraine be treated any differently to those in other areas of the Borough when we all pay the same rates?
“I also note UUP councillors Holmes and Wilson proposed and seconded the introduction of car parking charges when the issue was first placed on the agenda in the Environmental Services committee. Yet at the full Council meeting they voted against their own decision, and have now signed the call in.
“Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council inherited the car parks from central government. These car parks have to be maintained.
“Having settled on a zero percent rise in the rates, perhaps the UUP signatories can tell us how they intend to raise the finance for car park maintenance in the current term?
“Perhaps they can tell us how they managed to arrive at their decision considering they walked out of the debate on unfair car parking charges in the run-up to Christmas?
“The whole situation is farcical. The UUP has been quick to blast the DUP in the media in relation to the parking decision.
“They are now trying to make themselves look important by calling in a decision that they proposed and seconded.
“Surely now the people of the Borough will see the comical nature of this party who seem unable to make a decision for the benefit of the Borough as a whole.”