Today, Monday, 13 November, is the final day of Durham County Council’s consultation on imposing car parking charges across the East Durham Coastline. If you have not already done so, please participate in the consultation by emailing your comments to

The response to date has been overwhelming, with local Councillors, Town and Parish Councils, businesses, residents, and visitors all saying NO to the imposition of car parking charges. We have the most beautiful coastline in the North East, and we want to keep it open and accessible to all, as we continue to reap the benefits more visitors bring in terms of employment and investment that sustain our small business community.

There is only one reason the Conservative/Lib Dem/Independent Coalition at County Hall is seeking to impose these charges: MONEY, to plug the financial hole in the Council’s finances caused by their economic incompetence.

A successful council would support our communities to continue to grow and develop, sharing in this success through increased business rates receipts and more local employment. Instead, we have a Council strangling the success we have developed locally while standing in the way of business elsewhere in the County.

The recent comments from BrewDog CEO James Watt about the lack of communication, input, and support from Durham County Council show that rather than solving problems, it is the Regeneration, Economy, and Growth remit at Durham County Council that are causing problems, damaging our community, and holding back business in our County.

For more on BrewDog’s attack on Durham County Council, please see: East Durham Coastal Communities paying the price of Council Incompetence, claims MP 

I am sceptical about the true nature of Durham County Council’s consultation. If it is genuine and is about seeking the views of those impacted by parking charges, then these proposals will not go ahead, considering the overwhelming scale of the objections from each section of the community.

If these charges do proceed, they will be imposed upon our community at a great cost to visitors and investment. They will have a long-term economic impact on our community that we must attempt to overcome with all the tools at our disposal.

The Conservative Party and their Lib Dem allies showed between 2010 and 2015 that they were not fit to run our country. In a little over two years, the Conservative and Lib Dem Coalition at Durham County Council have shown they are not fit to run our county.

We have one day left to make our voices heard, say NO to the imposition of parking charges on our coastline, and then let’s spend every day from now to the next General Election and County Election working together to ensure our communities are no longer being attacked by the Conservatives either nationally or locally.

Please send your comments about the car parking charges proposals to by 5 pm, Monday, 13 November.

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