Navigation Point's owners have decided to introduce parking charges. Nothing wrong with that. It is their land and they can do whatever they want with it.
In the beginning (over 10 years ago) was a vacant Marina. Vacant flats. Vacant shops. Vacant berths.
Then came businesses (Krimo's was the first) on that side of the Marina. One at a time. Shyly. Hesitantly. A few struggled but over the last six years, the area began to blossom.
Many boat owners left faraway havens to come and berth their floating weekend retreats in our Marina. There were now waiting lists for the apartments.
The Marina became fashionable. It even acquired a new name. The Jewel in the Crown... Of Hartlepool and Tees Valley.
It began attracting visitors from far and wide. The Lords of the Land were happy. The businesses were cautiously pleased. The residents ecstatic with everything on their doorstep. It seemed like the centre of the Universe. Especially on a sunny day.
And then came the crunch.
The high rents began to bite.
Midweek, customers became a rare sight.
Paid parking plans finally came to light.
The Mayor promised that, not if, but when the Council adopted the Marina, no parking meters would go up. According to a leak, a thorny point sank the inflated adoption plans.
The meters came on Monday, followed by their maids.
Tables hurriedly vacated.
Scuffles over a few seconds past the first free half hour.
Worried workers. Worried employers.
Down here we're left robbing Peter to pay Paul.