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MP Julian Brazier writes to Canterbury City Council urging them to help suffering Whitstable traders over Gorrell Tank closure

MP Julian Brazier has urged council bosses to help struggling businesses affected by the closure of the Gorrell Tank.

Mr Brazier has written to chief executive Colin Carmichael after he was called on by the town's business leaders to help solve Whitstable's parking problems.

At the first of several planned roadshows he was asked to contact Southern Water to speed up repair works following the closure of the 245-space car park in April.

Gorrell Tank car park in Whitstable will become ticketless
Gorrell Tank car park in Whitstable will become ticketless

The pay and display was closed by Southern Water for health and safety reasons over fears it could collapse due to corroding underground pillars.

Some fear it could remain shut until next year.

Julian Brazier
Julian Brazier

In his letter Mr Brazier wrote: "I have received representations that traders and licensed premises in Whitstable High Street and elsewhere in the town are suffering severe losses of sales.

"If this persists, there is a real danger of reputational damage to the town with word getting around about the severe parking difficulties.

"I know how seriously Canterbury City Council is taking this matter and understand the sensitivities around all the possible alternatives but I would urge you to get interim arrangements in place as soon as possible".

Kim Foster of the Oval Chalet Preservation Community Group
Kim Foster of the Oval Chalet Preservation Community Group

At the meeting last Thursday, Copperfields owner Kim Foster said traders had suffered a huge drop in takings since the closure.

He said: "I think a lot of people have left coming to the town because they can’t find a parking space and they won’t come back.

"We will be back to where we were 20 years ago".

Last week the Whitstable Gazette revealed the council has estimated it will lose about £60,000 in revenue after the closure of the car park as it launches a three-week consultation to use the Westmeads recreation ground.

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