Town multi-storey will be disastrous
I was present at the public meeting in Wigston last week to discuss the plan for the future of this borough.
The two most controversial items on the plan are the construction of a multi-storey car-park and the potential sale of the Paddock Street car-park for development.
It seems to me that a five-storey car park is totally inappropriate. We were told that parking in this monstrosity would be free – but would it?
Then there are the problems of security and vandalism and, not least, the effect it would have on the people who live in the flats nearby. It would be interesting to hear what they have to say about it.
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Discussion of plans for the Paddock Street car park revealed almost total agreement that selling it and reducing the number of spaces from 80 to 30 would be a disaster.
At present, as well as providing convenient parking for shoppers, this car park is used extensively by people going to Age Concern.
The centre provides lunches every day for many people. A complete list of activities taking place there is far too long to quote here – things such as computer courses, carpet bowls, recreational classes and so on; a chiropodist and hairdresser attend regularly; the coffee shop is open daily and various clubs and organisations use the premises in the evenings with coffee mornings on a Saturday for many charities.
The Citizens Advice Bureau is present one day a week and advice and help on all sorts of issues is available free.
Many other services for the elderly are also available here. All these activities raise money to keep the centre going and help to provide a pleasant meeting place for many people.
The loss of so many parking spaces in Paddock Street would be a disaster and Age Concern would soon be forced to close its doors. This in turn would result in people becoming house-bound, thus putting more strain on the meals-on-wheels service and creating other problems for the community.
In the absence of any other community centre in Wigston, Age Concern is extremely important.
I wonder if our councillors realise how vital car-parks are to this borough? Many people do come here to shop but if they cannot park easily they will go elsewhere.
I no longer drive but if I did I would certainly not use a multi-storey car-park and I suspect that there are many older people who feel the same. There have already been indications that folk using the Age Concern centre would no longer do so if they were unable to park.
I have no political affiliations. I write as a resident of Wigston who cares about what happens here.
If you care, please write to the council and make your feelings known.
M Drage, Wigston.