ANGELA Rayner MP has called for a council re-think on plans to increase car parking charges in Ashton town centre.
She fears local shops will be hit if fees go up, along with voluntary groups who are based in the town centre.
Under the proposals Tameside Council wants to introduce a ‘Cashless Mobile Telephone Parking System’ where people will pay for on-street parking using their mobile phones.
Pricing would be set at £1 for up to half an hour, £2 for up to 1 hour and £5 for over one hour on streets throughout the town centre.
But Angela has written to council chiefs calling for them to reconsider the scheme.
She said:"Local shops are already struggling and a hike in charges like this will only hit trade even further, by putting off people coming into the town centre.
"The fear of the local retail, voluntary and service sector is that the good work done by the council on reduced car parking charges could now all be undone.
"I hope the current proposals are reconsidered to help protect and grow our town centre in line with the council's ambitions to build a thriving hub for local people."
Angela has already delivered a 1500 name petition to Tameside Council on behalf of its organisers, the Church of the Nazarene in Stamford Street, where more than 300 local householders use the facility every week.
The Revd Carl McCann said: "We believe that the current system of 1 hour free parking, supplemented by low cost additional car parks, adequately meets the needs of the town. People can come into the town to shop, run errands, attend meetings and community events, volunteer, work… and find suitable parking at a reasonable cost.
"The public, the voluntary sector and businesses stand united in opposition to these proposals and we hope that our voice will be heard.
"We recognise the difficult financial circumstances within which our council is trying to operate but believe that this idea will not be financially beneficial but will be to the detriment of Tameside."