Green demo to keep park free

Coun Claire Hamilton
Coun Claire Hamilton
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Campaigners battling to keep one of Lancashire’s best parks free to all visitors will stage a “green protest” on site tomorrow.

Scores of angry residents are expected to turn out at Worden Park, Leyland (10am-11am) where South Ribble plans to introduce parking charges.

Demonstrators are being asked to wear an item of green clothing to signify the Green Flag status Worden has achieved - an honour only afforded to the very best parks in the land.

“The council is forever referring to Worden Park as the jewel in the borough’s crown,” said independent councillor Claire Hamilton(right) who helped organise the campaign to keep parking free.

“Yet the Conservative administration wants to charge people for parking their cars on what should be a free asset for the whole community. It is totally unfair and a backward step for this council. I have had emails from people who walk their dogs at Worden Park every morning and are now going to have to pay. They have told me they won’t be using the park if these charges come in.”

The campaign group set up to fight the plans says it has around 200 members and an estimated 1,000-plus people have signed a petition to oppose the charges. South Ribble says it needs to introduce fees to dissuade students at nearby Runshaw College parking cars there all day. The council plans to set a fee of £2 a day during term-time and £1 during college holidays.

The matter will be voted on at the full council on Wednesday. In an attempt to rally support the campaign group is urging councillors of all parties to: “stand with local residents who wish to see our fantastic local asset remain free for all.”