MP LUKE Hall is calling for the local authority to 'give Thornbury a break' as the town faces the prospect of parking fees being introduced.

Charges in all South Gloucestershire Council-run car parks look set to be launched including in Thornbury's Castle Court, Park Road, Rock Street, St Mary Street and at Thornbury Leisure Centre.

The fees could raise £2 million a year for SGC if the plans go ahead.

However, the proposed changes have not gone down well with residents or business owners.

"The council needs to give Thornbury a break"

Now Mr Hall has joined the fight against the fees, describing the proposal as "another blow" to the area which would "punish local businesses." 

He has also launched a petition calling for the plans to be urgently reconsidered.

Gazette Series: Luke Hall MP says plans to introduce parking charges across the area need to be reconsideredLuke Hall MP says plans to introduce parking charges across the area need to be reconsidered (Image: Luke Hall MP)

He said: "These plans will be another blow to Thornbury's High Street. 

"The council needs to give Thornbury a break. 

"All these charges will do is punish local businesses by making customers shop elsewhere. 

"It will force drivers to park in all the surrounding residential roads rather than in designated car parks and reduce access for some of the most vulnerable residents in South Gloucestershire."

It comes after Thornbury Chamber of Commerce launched a survey, which received more than 2,000 responses, also urging SGC to reconsider. 

READ MORE: Anger at plans to introduce parking charges in Thornbury

The Liberal Democrats and Labour, who took control of the council in May, have blamed the proposed charges on the previous Conservative administration.

Both parties pledged ahead of the local election in May that they would keep parking free but they say the Conservatives created the need for charges and effectively forced their hand.

However, the Conservatives claim this is not the case.

Gazette Series: Parking fees could be introduced at the Rock Street Car Park in Thornbury - it is currently is free Parking fees could be introduced at the Rock Street Car Park in Thornbury - it is currently is free (Image: South Gloucestershire Council)

Cllr Claire Young, leader of SGC, and co-leader Cllr Ian Boulton recently wrote to the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt MP, demanding "proper funding" for local councils and services ahead of the autumn statement.

The council recently launched a new public consultation about its budget, which includes parking charges, which runs until Friday, December 8.

Councillors will consider the feedback before finalising a budget to take to full council in February next year.

“We are not kicking the can down the road" says Lib Dems 

SGC Cllr Jayne Stansfield (Thornbury, Lib Dem) said: “I’d like to ask Luke Hall to speak to his Conservative Government colleagues about giving adequate funding to councils. 

“South Gloucestershire has seen its funding cut by 30% since 2016.  

"Lack of funding from central government has left councils across the country struggling financially. 

“We are not kicking the can down the road. 

“We have to take these really difficult decisions to make sure South Gloucestershire Council does not go bust like other councils such as Birmingham and to protect vital services for our elderly and vulnerable residents. 

“We know none of this is easy and we want to work with local people and businesses as we make any changes. 

“We urge residents to give their feedback in the consultation.”

You can view the council's public consultation at

South Gloucestershire Council statement 

A SGC spokesperson previously said: "In order to balance our budget next year, the council is going to have to make some incredibly difficult decisions, which will impact services that people rely on.

"The choices ahead will not be easy, which is why we will be asking residents, businesses and other stakeholders about their priorities, what we might be able to do to reduce the impact of cuts or charging more for some things.

"South Gloucestershire Council, as with all local authorities in the country, do not receive the money we need from the central Government to provide all the services that local people require.

"While we are calling on the Government to increase funding for councils, we have to balance our books in the meantime.

"Through the consultation process we want to give local people the information they need to make informed choices when they tell us about their priorities so that members can take this into account when the decisions on next year's budget are made."