Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Anti-parking charges campaigners worry about council “fait accompli”

Local business owners in Dingwall are protesting against the proposed introduction of parking charges at the town's Cromarty Car Park. Left-to-right: Alicen Lawrie (correct), David Campbell, Graeme Dolier, Saeed Shirvani.
Local business owners in Dingwall are protesting against the proposed introduction of parking charges at the town's Cromarty Car Park. Left-to-right: Alicen Lawrie (correct), David Campbell, Graeme Dolier, Saeed Shirvani.

Dingwall parking campaigners have accused Highland Council of a “fait accompli” after it emerged parking meters have already been ordered despite promises of consultation.

A senior councillor last night confirmed the equipment had been purchased – but said it could be used elsewhere if Dingwall avoided the charges.

However, angry locals claim the move shows the council is just “going through the motions” offering to talk before imposing the controversial charges.

Campaigners have already warned the charges would deal a death blow to the Ross-shire town’s fragile economy.

Budget Leader Alister Mackinnon was quick to dismiss the allegations as “scaremongering.”

He said: “The parking meters have been ordered but they could be used for other car parks, not necessarily Dingwall.

“They could be used anywhere, they could be used in Fort William or Skye – there is a lot of scaremongering going on. I am aware that they have been ordered but that is not my department.”

Mr Mackinnon defended the move to introduce charges by pointing out the alternatives were cuts to roads or teaching.

“If they don’t want charges then the reality of the situation is that it will come out of the road’s budget. The next item on the budget is the teachers.”

George Murray, a member of the Dingwall Business Association, said: “I think it is a scandal – they have spent money on machines where they will be used.

“I think that it is a fail-fail for the council. I think it is a ‘fait accompli’ – but they still say they are going to have a consultation, it is just going through the motions.”

Mr Murray said that if the meters have already been ordered then “there is obviously too much money in the Highland Council.

“What is weird is that they are trying to pass this off as normal – they still haven’t answered our questions.

“If there is any trust left then I see it evaporating with every single utterance they make.”

The issuing of introducing fees in the south car park in Dingwall triggered a wave of anger in the town.

The local authority believes it needs to raise revenue through regional charges that could net £1.4 million.

But local businesses and residents feel it would be “the last nail in the coffin” for Dingwall that would see it become a “ghost town.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]