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Free parking kept for early Londoners

04 August 2011

by Ed Beavan

CHURCHGOERS in the West End of London will have to pay as much as £4.40 per hour to park on Sunday afternoons, after new charges were approved by Westminster City Council.

The new charges, which will affect Soho, Marylebone, and Mayfair, were approved at a council meeting on Monday. Churches Together in West­minster submitted a petition against them (News, 29 July), and church and Salvation Army repre­sentatives packed the public gallery at the meeting.

One of the churchwardens of St George’s, Hanover Square, Michael Beckett, attended the meeting. He said that the charges, which will oper­ate from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sun­days from 1 December, would have a big impact on churches, as well as shops and restaurants. “The council did agree to put back the start times by an hour, which will help us. . . There has been enormous opposi­tion, but the council haven’t listened. It could destroy the local economy.”

Churches are considering fielding candidates in local elections in 2014.


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