A petition calling on council chiefs to put the brake on plans to charge visitors to park in Seaton Carew has been handed over.
The document organised by Seaton residents Steve and Pam Gooderham was signed by 3,438 people including business holders of the seaside resort.
They chose Valentine’s Day to present the petition as they asked asks Hartlepool Borough Council to “show some love” to Seaton residents.
Steve and Pam launched the petition after the council decided to charge visitors £1 to park for two hours during the summer season.
Steve said: “I’m amazed at the response. To end up with nearly three and a half thousand names just shows the depth of feeling from the electorate.
“It also shows what can be done when the whole community gets behind something. The impact this is going to have on Seaton is significant.
“Not only will it drive people away who have to pay a pound to pay the metre, businesses have staff who drive to work. They are going to have to pay to park.
“I hope on St Valentine’s Day, Hartlepool Borough Council will show a little love to Seaton Carew.”
Steve stressed the petition was non-political. He presented it to Seaton councillors Paul Thompson and Tom Hind who handed it over to Denise Ogden, Director of Regeneration and Neighbourhoods.
The issue will be debated at a council meeting at 4pm on Monday. A council spokesman said: “We can confirm receipt of a petition in relation to car parking charges at Seaton Carew.
“Ongoing significant cuts in Government funding have forced the Council to look at a range of options to reduce costs across the Council and generate income so that we can maintain a good level of services across the town.
“The decision to introduce a £1 seasonal charge for two hours parking at car parks in Seaton Carew is minimal and will help to fund the maintenance of these sites.
“There is a further report to the Council’s Neighbourhood Services Committee on Monday (20 February) which outlines the Council’s overall plan for managing car parking and on-street car parking in Seaton Carew and this will include regular meetings with businesses and residents to monitor progress.
“The presence of enforcement officers in Seaton Carew will also help to address ongoing challenges such as dog fouling and people dropping litter.”