Campaigners fail last bid attempt to block installation of parking meters in Wirral country parks

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Campaigners against the installation of car parking meters at eight Wirral country parks have failed in a last ditch attempt to block it.

The plan for car parking machines in Thurstaston, Royden, Eastham and Arrowe Parks was debated during a three-hour meeting after 21 Conservative councillors called the issue in for further scrutiny.

Parking prices were discussed having been proposed by the Labour group in a bid to raise extra cash to cope with Government cuts.

A planned £4 flat-fee to park at Thurstaston, Royden, Eastham and Arrowe Parks Country Parks was replaced earlier this year with a new proposal to charge 50p for the first hour, £1 for two hours or £2 all day following public outcry.

A planned increase of all tariffs by 50p was replaced with a 20p rise.

The changes were approved during a budget cabinet meeting on March 6.

More than 20,085 residents had signed petitions against the proposals.

During the call-in meeting campaigners heard how the figures in the council’s budget were a ‘guestimate’ amid claims that visitor numbers could drop by 30%.

Eight Labour councillors voted in favour, while five Conservatives and one Liberal Democrat voted against.

Cllr Stuart Whittingham, cabinet member for highways, said: “This council has to fill the £45m Tory Government cuts to Wirral.