AN online petition has been set up to try and stop Wyre Forest District Council scrapping free parking at one of Stourport’s car parks.

Neville Farmer, Parliamentary Spokesman for Wyre Forest Liberal Democrats, has started the petition in the hope that Vale Road car park will remain free for Mitton Gardens and Vale Road residents.

The district council plans to introduce charges on the car park from next month, even though it is used by residents who do not have on-street parking outside their homes.

Mr Farmer said there was an understanding in Stourport that a “gentleman’s agreement” existed between the council and the family of Thomas Vale that the car park should remain free.

Marcus Hart, the district council’s cabinet member for housing and environmental services, however, said it was a “rumour” and a “myth” that the car park was donated by the Vale family.

He added that it was purchased by Stourport Urban District Council for the full market value and was then passed down to the Wyre Forest authority when it was formed in 1974.

Mr Farmer, however, said the council still had a moral obligation to honour the gentleman’s agreement.

He said: “The council may have no legal obligation to honour that but they have a moral one and as servants of the council taxpayers of Stourport, they should take the moral line.”

He added that he was concerned, as the district council’s document containing proof that it owned the land did not include the page with the signatures.

He said: “The problem really is it seems that this comes from a time when there were gentlemen’s agreements and the council is ignoring that.

“I’m trying to get people to write to the council to say stop this, as it’s not fair.”

He added that the cost of £5.20 for two hours was not consistent with prices being introduced in The Avenue, in Blakedown.

Mr Hart said: “The car park was never donated by the Vale family. It’s a rumour and a myth that it was donated to the people of Stourport.”

He added that he could not comment on whether the page with signatures on the document of proof was missing, as it had not been brought to his attention.

People can sign the petition at