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Free parking bid falls short

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 06:17 30/11/2012

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Mobility cardholders will continue to have to feed the parking meters in Palmerston North despite three dissenting votes at the city council’s monthly meeting.

However, the cardholders will get up to one hour’s free time on parks with a time restriction of more than 30 minutes.

The change was made after a deputation on Wednesday, including some angry users, protested the enforcement of parking bylaw provisions that included charges for metered mobility parks.

Cr Pat Kelly said the compromise was a generous one.

But Crs Lew Findlay, Vaughan Dennison and Billy Meehan held out for a better deal.

Cr Findlay said the council should be more disability-friendly and offer free parking for people with disabilities.

Cr Dennison said it would be a fair recognition given the amounts the council gave to sporting, community and cultural groups, and Cr Meehan said the council should stick with its past stand of not charging cardholders.

However, Cr Bruce Wilson said the exemption would only benefit a select group of people with disabilities – those who had a car and could drive it, or had a driver.

It would be ‘‘fundamentally wrong’’ to have a bylaw and not enforce it, and people should have objected to its provisions last year when it was reviewed, he said.

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- Manawatu Standard

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