Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Last day of free parking in The Centre, Livingston - help save shop workers from £40 per month charge

Imagine if you were suddenly hit with an extra £40 a month charge that you weren't expecting. How would you cope with that? In this climate, when many haven't had a pay rise and costs are rising seemingly exponentially?

From tomorrow, that's exactly what will happen to shop workers at The Centre in Livingston when parking charges are introduced.

It's hard to argue against charges for the public, to be honest. And I doubt they'll deter people from shopping. If you're going to spend a hundred quid on clothes or spectacles or whatever, the 50p or £1 it'll cost you to park will be a cause for grumbling, but it won't necessarily stop you going there.

Shop workers, however, don't have that choice. Many of them have to use their cars because public transport is not the best around here and Livingston really is a monument to the motor car. They have to come to work every day, and so they could end up being stung for up to £40 a month. The private company which owns The Centre, Land Securities, made profits of over a billion pounds last year. Despite their financial health, they still plan to press ahead with a charge which will cost a full time worker on the minimum wage the equivalent of two weeks' pay over a year.

I don't think it's acceptable to treat staff in this way and I think it should be withdrawn.

If you agree, join the others who have joined the Facebook Group, signed the online petition, and complained to The Centre. We also need help to spread the word on the ground. People don't generally spend their lives online, so tell people you know about this campaign and get them to sign up. That's the most important way you could help. Let's build a case to show Land Securities that they are wrong on this and persuade them to withdraw the charge.

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