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Friday, 5 February 2010

Richmond Park Rally a success

Do you have something to say about the rally? Were you there? If so, please contact [email protected] to express your views.

People in Richmond and Kingston are hoping people power has prevailed. Over two thousand people gathered at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park earlier to protest against proposed parking charges for both Richmond and Bushy Parks.

Parks Minister Margaret Hodge wants to introduce a levy for users, starting this summer.

That's despite 84 percent of residents objecting to the plans.

MPs provided a united front, proving this was not a pre election stunt.

Among the MPs to take the stage was Lib Dem Treasury Spokesman and Twickenham MP Vincent Cable, Lib Dem MP for Richmond Park Susan Kramer, [pictured with reporter Lucy Mayer] Conservative MP for Putney Justine Greening and Richmond Park Conservative PPC Zac Goldsmith who spearheaded the event.

Queues of cars lined the park with drivers tooting their support for the rally.

A massive white board was signed by participants in a show of determination. Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Richmond Park Zac Goldsmith is pictured signing the board himself.

One of his main arguments is how a move like this can be pushed through despite widespread opposition.

MP Margaret Hodge has so far refused to visit Richmond or Bushy Parks and did not attend the rally today.

Twickenham MP Vincent Cable launched a scathing attack on the Royal Parks Association describing them as a ruthless ''quango'' who don't care about the park users, only the money coming in.

Protestors have been asked to bombard Ms Hodge with letters detailing their thoughts.

It's not just Richmond Park that is under threat from the new rules. Bushy Park is facing the same threat.

Here is a note from the Friends of Bushy Park;

Following Margaret Hodge's decision to impose charges on Bushy Park we must use the combined rally to demonstrate the strength of feeling and ensure that opposition parties keep their promises to overturn the charges if they should win the upcoming general election.

•In the face of overwhelming opposition, Margaret Hodge announces charges to go ahead anyway
•All local MPs and prospective parliamentary candidates stand together against the charges
•Opposition parties pledge to reverse charges should they gain power at the upcoming general election
•Regulatory and procedural formalities (e.g. planning permission) suggest charges unlikely to be on place before upcoming general election
•We must keep up the pressure, rally now more important than ever

To sign the Lib Dem petition, visit:

A message from Susan Kramer

Thank you to everyone who joined the rally against parking charges in Richmond Park on Saturday. I just wanted to email you an update on what has happened since the weekend.

On Monday I used parliamentary mechanisms to try and force the Government to allow a debate in the House of Commons on the plans to introduce parking charges.

Then on Wednesday, former Richmond Park MP Baroness Jenny Tonge submitted what is called a ‘fatal amendment’ to the legislation in the House of Lords, which should now force a debate and vote on it in the Lords.

Now we need your help.

I asked those who attended the rally on Saturday to write to Ben Bradshaw, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to demand that a debate be granted on the charging plans.

It is really important that we show the Minister the strength of feeling and huge opposition to the loss of free access to Richmond Park.

I hope you’ll join those who have already done this by writing to Ben Bradshaw MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA or emailing [email protected]

Thanks in advance for your support, and let’s keep up the fight!

Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything else I can help with.

Best wishes,

Susan Kramer
posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 6:30 pm  

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