MORPETH residents with shoppers permits are being urged not to miss out on having their say about its importance.
Following consultation on the Northumberland Parking Strategy, the county council is undertaking further consultation specifically with holders of the Morpeth Shoppers Permit to understand the value they get from using it.
It has written to those who have obtained a permit since it became a unitary authority in 2009, but residents who got one from the former Castle Morpeth Council have not received a letter.
A county council spokeswoman said: “We have sent a survey directly to everyone who has applied for a shoppers permit to the new council, as well as making it widely available to others by advertising it in the car parks in Morpeth and having it available at the customer information centre and online.
“We didn’t write to those who had applied prior to the new council being formed because the details that we have could now be out of date.”
Those who did not receive a letter can take part before the deadline of Monday, August 1 by picking up a form from the council’s contact centre in Bridge Street or visit www.northumberland.gov.uk and click on ‘Parking, Roads & Transport’, then ‘Parking’ and ‘Shoppers Permit (Morpeth)’.
Council officers had recommended that the scheme, which allows people to use the town’s car parks for free at peak times, should be withdrawn but executive members decided to get more information before making a decision.
Geoff Proudlock from the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade has criticised the approach to the survey.
He said: “How can this be a proper consultation if not all of the population know about it?
“This has been poorly advertised so far, do they think people will read notices on lampposts?
“It’s absolutely imperative that as many people as possible respond to the survey.
“If there is a poor response, the council can turn round and say that the public aren’t interested in it and they could well go on and scrap the permit.
“And this would have wider ramifications because this could stop plans for a Northumberland shoppers permit which would affect people in Alnwick, Berwick and Hexham.”