Traders in Yarm fear their businesses will be badly hit by plans to charge for parking. Lisa Chapman, who runs a beauty salon, says the changes may deter shoppers and visitors from coming to the Teesside market town.
But the Leader of Stockton Council, Councillor Bob Cook, says the current system, which allows limited free parking, isn't working and installing meters is the most effective way of dealing with the problem.
Stockton South's MP James Wharton has branded Stockton Borough Council's controversial decision to implement parking charges on Yarm high street as a "disgrace". The 12 proposed parking meters are reported to cost £4300 each.
Stockton Borough Council is hoping to bring in parking charges to the town in May, claiming they will generate much needed revenue.
But the move has been opposed by the MP, local businesses and residents.