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March 9, 2010

This is from Zac Goldsmith, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate in Richmond Park.  Many residents visit Richmond Park, so I thought you might be interested.

I would like to put the record straight regarding Susan Kramer’s allegations. Needless to say, they are entirely misleading. The Conservatives are resolutely opposed to the introduction of car parking charges in Richmond Park. Visiting Richmond Park should never become a budget decision.

So, how can we stop the Government’s proposals to do just that? First, I want to reiterate that Justine Greening and I have persuaded the Conservative Party to scrap the plans if we win the election. However, if the different political Parties put politics aside, we have an opportunity to stop the charges sooner.

Yesterday, Susan Kramer sent out an email claiming that the Conservatives “are refusing to back a vote in Parliament that would stop the car parking charges”. This is deliberate nonsense, but it has caused unnecessary alarm among some residents. I want to clarify our position.

Nationally, as I have said, we will scrap the charges if we form the next Government. In the meantime, we have tabled an amendment in the Lords that calls on the Government to withdraw its Order and resubmit the Royal Parks proposals without the plans to charge for parking.

This is an alternative to the Lib Dem ‘fatal amendment’. There have only been three ‘fatal amendments’ in history. It hardly ever happens because the unelected House of Lords does not reject outright legislation presented by a government.  The peers will not agree to cause constitutional havoc for the sake of Richmond Park, and the Lib Dems are well aware of that. Besides, even if the Lords did vote down a Government Order, the Government could simply present the same thing the next day.

Susan Kramer’s idea is guaranteed to fail, and many people believe it is actually designed to do so, in order to allow the Lib Dems to score political points. In the run up to the election, some politicians will try anything to attract votes.

If Susan Kramer is genuinely determined to stop these plans, she must support our alternative. If she continues with her kindergarten politics, she will have allowed these charges in. It is as simple as that. The ball is in Susan’s court.

Countless people have been badly misinformed by our MP, and I strongly urge you to forward this post to as many people as possible to put their minds at rest, and to minimise the chance that political smears play a role in the forthcoming election.

I am happy to answer any questions at all regarding this or other issues.

Very best wishes,

Zac Goldsmith
PPC Richmond Park and North Kingston

Find out Where Zac stands on issues that matter to you:
If you want to ask Zac about this or any other issues, email him:

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