A SENIOR councillor has re-affirmed his pledge to listen to the views of Islanders when the Isle of Wight Council decides on the future of parking.
Thousands of people have signed petitions objecting to plans for increased parking charges and a reduction in free parking hours.
The issue was debated at length at last night’s (Wednesday) full council meeting.
Responding to calls for an Islandwide strategy, Cllr Jon Gilbey, executive member for finance and highways PFI , said final plans would be drawn up after the public consultation and form the basis of an all-Island parking strategy.
The consultation is due to end on June 6 and a final report will be presented to the executive in July, once all responses had been considered.
Cllr Gilbey said: "It’s one of those subjects which is extremely contentious. It’s a matter of finding common ground, something we can all agree on. We will listen, take on board the views and act accordingly."
Conservative leader Cllr Dave Stewart criticised the consultation however.
Speaking after the meeting, he said there was a groundswell of anger at the plans for parking charges.
"The Independent Group has now acknowledged the need for a strategic review and we will support them in that work.
"Unfortunately at the full council meeting, the Independents gave us no clear vision of why they may be planning to significantly increase parking revenue in a piecemeal way," he said.
Campaigner Tony Gibbs, who created an online petition against parking charges at Appley and Puckpool, said: "They have said they will listen to the people, so it will be interesting to hear the results of the consultation and see if they really do."
A protest walk is due to be held in Appley on Sunday. The walk leaves from Appley Tower at 10.30am.
For details of how to take part in the consultation, click here