MAYOR of Worcester Jabba Riaz has added his support to the growing opposition against plans for parking charges at a popular city park.

The Worcester News has previously reported that charges are to be introduced for the first time at Worcester Woods Country Park, after county council cabinet member Lucy Hodgson signed off on the proposal in November.

A petition against the plan – which is to charge £1 for one hour, £2 for two, £3 for four, £7 for over four and £60 for an annual pass – has attracted more than 4,000 signatures.

The council's decision was called in, which means the charges cannot be implemented until the scrutiny process is completed.

And the charges are to be discussed at Worcestershire County Council’s overview and scrutiny performance board meeting being held this Monday, January 14.

Ahead of the meeting, Cllr Riaz posted on social media that he officially opened the 400th Worcester Parkrun featuring 700 runners, last Saturday. In the post he said: “Parkrun is for everyone even walkers. It is truly a great spectacle and one big family – a true representation of my theme of love not hate. And for good measure I also stated that I was against the ridiculous car parking fees proposed at county hall. That would prevent such fantastic wonderful community events being attended by this many people.”

Worcester parkrunners meet weekly at the site and Richard Ralphs, the event director, says the new charges were not “going to be a good thing” for members.

The council meeting takes place from 10am at County Hall. Members of the public wishing to take part in the public speaking section need to notify the head of legal and democratic services in writing or by email no later than 9am this Friday (January 11).