Stay Out of Town!

A Hedge End town councillor has warned car drivers to stay away from Eastleigh town centre or pay the price.

Speaking at a public meeting organised by Southampton and Eastleigh Friends of the Earth, Eastleigh’s cabinet Minister for Environment Louise Bloom claimed that parking controls were part of the councils strategy to reduce local carbon emissions and said she would ‘not apologise’ for parking charges.

‘If you bring a car to Eastleigh than you have to pay to park’ she insisted.

The meeting had been called by the environmental pressure group as part of a campaign to urge councils to “get serious about CO2” in order to “cut emissions to create new green jobs and boost the local economy” but Cllr Blooms remarks are bound to dismay struggling local businesses and lead to accusations that the council is ‘Anti Car’.

Last month the council revealed plans to build a hotel which can only be used by guests who arrive on foot or public transport.

In addition there have recent rises in car parking charges while families in the working class area of central Eastleigh can have to pay up to £235 to park outside their homes (depending on the amount of cars owned) while middle class families in wealthy suburbs like Grange Park pay nothing for the same privilege no matter how many cars they own.

see story here

About 100 people attended the meeting at Eastleigh Masonic Centre on Friday.

The other speakers were Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne who is the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate change and Andy Atkins, the executive director of Friends of the Earth.

Full report to follow

Photo:© Matthew Myatt

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  8 comments for “Stay Out of Town!

  1. November 22, 2010 at 4:10 am

    Interesting, and Miss Bloom arrived at this meeting in Eastleigh from her home in Hedge End by …????

    Take a guess.!!

  2. easy peasy
    November 22, 2010 at 9:24 am

    So shoppers and residents in Eastleigh town have to pay to park while shoppers and residents in Hedge End town don’t.
    Well that is a fair and even handed approach to combatting vehicle emissions in the borough!
    I’m sure it will ‘boost the local economy’… of HEDGE END.
    How refreshing to see there is no conflict of interest between Ms Bloom’s two roles.

  3. stephen slominski
    November 22, 2010 at 11:31 am

    The next thing we will read is that the other councillor for Hedge End has cancelled government plans for a 6000 new home development in his ward on ‘environmental’ grounds and has decided to build them in the centre of Eastleigh instead.
    It was heartwarming to hear FOE activists at the meeting describe the councils pro middle class policies as ‘inspirational’ – oh how we laughed last summer when Lousie Bloom remided us to recycle our empty champagne bottles.
    Mr Huhne also had something to say on the subject of cars as he talked of a new generation of electric vehicles that could be ‘left on your driveway to recharge overnight’.
    What driveway? I don’t see too many of those on the Pirelli estate or Alexander Square.
    Here in Newtown, despite £60 p.a parking permits, it is often impossible to park in the same street you live in let alone outside your house.
    Mr Huhne, who clearly understands the full implications of Peak Oil is not giving us the full picture – that the era of cheap personal transport for the masses is almost over and car ownership will be revert to being a luxury.
    BTW, ‘Caroline W’ who runs hyperlocal website ‘Hedgeendpeople’ for associated newspapers refers to Chris Huhne as ‘the MP for Hedge End and I think there is something in that

  4. Anne Romaine
    November 22, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Bit rich of Louise Bloom to say that if you come into Eastleigh then you have to pay to park. Lib Dem councillors from outside the town park for free at their office in Leigh Road. No wonder she won’t apologise for parking charges – she doesn’t pay any!

  5. peter stewart
    November 22, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Good readers! You are witnessing the first signs of LibDem senescence.

    Those in power too long inevitably suffer delusions of invulnerability. These progress insensibly to the point where they believe they can implement their will with impunity. Eventually they forget that they owe everything to the electorate.

    Ultimately their diktats become too absurd to tolerate and they are removed by democratic action.

    Over the years I have watched (patiently) the assault on cars and the resultant decline in Eastleigh as a shopping centre. Louise had better heed this warning from one who sees the patterns of political change approaching, more long and cold and biting than the winter which is approaching.

  6. Keith House
    November 25, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    All great copy no doubt, but never let the facts get in the way of a fun story! Most residents in Eastleigh town centre can still park for free outside their own homes, and have the benefit of parking zones that stops non-residents parking there. New parking zones set up outside of Eastleigh town have higher charges.

    As for the idea that a hotel would vet clients to check they’ve not dared to drive a car – funny but total nonsense!

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      December 3, 2010 at 1:47 pm


      “All great copy no doubt, but never let the facts get in the way of a fun story!Most residents in Eastleigh town centre can still park for free outside their own homes, and have the benefit of parking zones that stops non-residents parking there.New parking zones set up outside of Eastleigh town have higher charges.As for the idea that a hotel would vet clients to check they’ve not dared to drive a car – funny but total nonsense!”  

      I didn’t think that Cllr Bloom’s claim that the parking scheme was part of a committment to tackle climate change was very credible either, as the scheme only appears to apply to one small of the community.

      The section that can least afford it.

      Countless thousands of cars visit Hedge End retail park every hour (some to avoid town centre parking charges).

      It would be nice to see the council encourage Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencers to make an affordable and meaningful contribution to the carbon ofsetting fund.

      About 50p per vehicle should do it.

      No one living in the town’s parking zones are under any illsuion that they were created to protect council car park revenue.

      Nobody would be trying to park outside residents houses to use the shops if parking was free in the town centre.

      AYWK the council have, contrary to their pre election pledge, abolished the free residential parking scheme. (see story here)

      All new applicants will have to pay. The free scheme was limited to only one car per household, so many exsisitng scheme members do indeed have to pay to park outside their our own home.

      Finally it is guests, not hoteliers that vet hotels and not many visitors travelling to Eastleigh by car will put a hotel with no secure on site parking to the top of their shortlist – despite having a town centre location.

  7. November 26, 2010 at 1:42 am

    Once again Mr House is the king of spin..

    He writes, ‘As for the idea that a hotel would vet clients to check they’ve not dared to drive a car – funny but total nonsense!..’

    Who said the hotel would vet anyone..?? Read the story again , it says ‘Last month the council revealed plans to build a hotel which can only be used by guests WHO ARRIVE on foot or public transport.

    Who said EBC cannot read and does not listen..??

    Learn to read please.!!

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