EAST Lothian Council has approved holding consultations on the introduction of parking charges.

The first of these consultations is being held in North Berwick, where I have heard from a number of residents and business owners who are concerned about the impact these charges would have on High Street shops at a time where footfall is down and bills and supply costs continue to rise.

The changes considered include the introduction of a £40 residents’ permit for certain streets, overnight campervan parking in several residential streets, and on-street parking charges.

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The consultation was approved by Labour, SNP and Green councillors, with only Scottish Conservative councillors opposing the controversial move.

I am also deeply concerned by the council’s decision to approve out-of-town retail outlets with free parking in Dunbar and Haddington while also considering parking charges in town centres. This is putting small independent businesses in the direct line of fire.

I want to represent local views as best as I possibly can during this time, which is why I will be sending out a survey to all North Berwick households to better understand residents’ views.

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I will be organising meetings with local business owners and affected homeowners, and I will be sure to represent the community’s view on this matter as best as I possibly can.

The consultation to introduce parking charges in North Berwick closes on December 13 and I would encourage residents to have their say at northberwick parking.commonplace.is

If you have any specific concerns about the introduction of parking charges, permit parking or charged overnight parking, please get in touch at craig.hoy.msp@parliament.scot and I would be happy to arrange a call or in-person meeting.