July 23 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Furious motorists have hit back at a council decision to charge for parking in Dedham – by gluing up the ticket machines.
But Colchester Borough Council have condemned the culprit’s actions and branded it “wanton” vandalism.
The parking charges were introduced at Mill Lane and Mill Pond car parks as part of a partnership between CBC and Dedham Parish Council.
A statement released by CBC shortly before the charges came into force said half of the income generated by the sites would be given to the parish council to reinvest in the local community.
Parking at both Mill Lane and Mill Pond is free for the first hour. For longer stays the cost starts at £1 and can go up to £4 per day.
But the introduction of charges as clearly riled some users of the sites who took matters into their own hands.
Between April 14 and 19 the coin slots in the front of the machines were glued up to prevent people paying for their tickets.
Councillor Martin Hunt, portfolio holder for street and waste Services said: “This is clearly not an attempt at theft, it is a wanton and repeated act of vandalism, intended to stop the council from carrying out a legitimate policy.
“This policy has been agreed by the parish authority and will produce both a better car park and local community facilities.
The police have now become involved in the matter and are working with CBC to try and find the person responsible.
Mr Hunt said: “I fully support Essex Police in their aim to catch and prosecute someone who clearly believes he or she is above the law.”
The machines have now been repaired and no further problems with them have been reported.