A PUBLIC meeting has been called to discuss new parking rules that are "dividing a community".

Redbridge Council revealed plans to introduce pay and display parking on Wanstead High Street and permits in surrounding roads at the end of last month.

The council is rolling out the new parking scheme under an “experimental traffic order”, which means it does not have to consult people before it goes ahead in February 2017.

But despite the council’s claims the scheme will give people “a fairer chance to park”, residents and business owners have expressed major concerns.

Snaresbrook Cllr Suzanne Nolan today announced (December 15) she and her colleagues Cllr Colin Cronin and Cllr Christopher Cummins will be holding a public meeting on January 13.

The opposition councillor said: “There are people who don’t want it and others that do – it’s diving Wanstead.

“It’s going to change the whole face of the area and affect everyone in one way or another.

“So residents need to have an opportunity to have their say, as the council clearly isn’t giving them that.”

Cllr Nolan decided to hold the meeting after yesterday’s information session about the scheme at Wanstead Library was “rammed” with people.

She added: “Council tax is going up, and I think residents see this as another stealth tax on them – they’re paying more but getting less for their money.”

In a statement yesterday, Redbridge cabinet member for environment and sustainability Cllr John Howard defended the parking scheme.

He said: This project isn’t about income, it’s about making parking fairer for residents and businesses and providing a better facility for visitors to the area.

“The project will give more parking choices and availability for residents and visitors by freeing up road space that is occupied by long term commuter and other parking. 

“Businesses and shoppers are also set to benefit.

“The introduction of short and long term parking means road space will be freed up allowing better access to the shops, with 30 minutes free parking in on-street bays.”

Cllr Nolan said she is yet to take an official stance on the scheme, but will “support residents no matter what”.

She said: “People are really worried about this one way or another.

“So we hope residents come along with their views and maybe we can make some sense out of it all.”

The meeting will start at 7.15pm at Wanstead Scout Hut in Hollybush Hill on Friday, January 13.