Carpark sale means town’s trade will ‘die a death’

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A leading political figure has warned that trade in Ripley town centre could “die a death” after a report suggested the borough council will sell a 190-space staff car park.

Minutes from a cabinet meeting on April 8 at Amber Valley Borough Council recommend the “disposal” of the council offices car park, in Cromford Road.

But as the agenda item remains confidential, specific details of the plan remain vague.

Councillors have slammed the authority over the “secretive” plans – insisting the sale will put so much pressure on existing car parks that shoppers will head out-of-town as a result.

Cllr Alan Cox said: “The fact that this agenda item has remained confidential is deeply unfair on residents, who currently have no idea.

“The public must be able to comment on these plans.

“I understand that financial information must remain confidential, but there is no need for the public to be kept in the dark about other details.

“This secrecy is unnecessary and unacceptable.”

Cllr Cox claimed that if the car park was sold, it would leave a total of 280 public parking spaces in Ripley.

He said: “So if those 190 council workers park in the remaining places, that’s 90 spaces for all the shoppers.

“People will soon get fed-up of being unable to park and will head to out-of-town supermarkets instead.

“And once they go – they won’t come back.

“Trade in Ripley could die a death as a result of these plans.”

Cllr Cox added that council workers get free parking, so the authority will lose a significant chunk of its parking revenue once the carpark is sold.

Mr Cox has “called in” the decision which means it will be looked at again by the council’s improvement and scrutiny committee.

Amber Valley Borough Council was due to discuss the proposed carpark sale at a meeting last night.

Details of what was discussed at the meeting were not available at the time of going to press.

Amber Valley said that no decision has been made.