Referendum call over Surrey parking fee plan

Parking meter
Image caption Businesses fear the cost of the pay and display meters might deter shoppers

Businesses leaders are calling for a referendum on council plans to introduce charges to thousands of free parking bays in Surrey.

Oxted Chamber of Commerce wants to hold the vote under the government's localism bill and has written to communities secretary Eric Pickles.

It has also urged Prime Minister David Cameron to look into the decision.

Surrey County Council has identified about 3,500 on-street parking spaces where charges could be implemented.

The Conservative-controlled council has said the parking service last year made a £500,000 deficit, which is not sustainable.

Councillor Ian Lake previously said it would be unfair to expect Surrey residents to foot the bill through their taxes.

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