PROPOSALS by Lancashire County Council to introduce street parking charges in several town centres have caused cross-party opposition.

The plan was part of a £77million package of savings approved by the authority's Cabinet on Thursday.

The scheme would see 53 more pay and display machines to raise cash in town centres the town centres of Whalley, Clitheroe, Colne, Nelson, Longridge, Burnley, Padiham and Great Harwood on the list of possible locations..

On Thursday Pendle Rural's Cllr David Whipp's attempt to present a 2,000 signature petition from Colne residents opposing the plan caused uproar at the Cabinet meeting causing its suspension.

Hyndburn Labour Cllr Miles Parkinson presented a similar petition from Great Harwood.

Ribble Valley Borough's Tory leader Cllr Ken Hind has also registered his objections with the county council's Conservative boss Cllr Geoff Driver.

Cllr Hind said: "The county council proposal is a backward step and will damage town centres .It will undermine the policy of the Ribble Valley Borough Council to drive the local economy by improving town centres, promoting heritage,and tourism."

Cllr Driver maintains that any new charges will help shopping in the town centres by curtailing all day parking and would need to be fully-consulted on before implementation.

A county council spokesman said: "A number of areas are under consideration but no decisions have been made.

"There is a requirement to consult on all new traffic regulations, so people will have an opportunity to give their views before any changes to parking are introduced."

County Labour leader Cllr Azhar Ali said: "This will strangle high streets."