Council urged to charge for own car park

CALLS have been made for a council to start charging its employees and councillors to park in their own car park if they are to push ahead with controversial charges for the public.

Russell Claydon

CALLS have been made for a council to start charging its employees and councillors to park in their own car park if they are to push ahead with controversial charges for the public.

Babergh District Council has come under fire for outlining detailed plans to abolish free parking in Sudbury and Hadleigh whilst remaining unclear on its position regarding its own Hadleigh car park.

Beryl Mauldon, of Melford Road, Sudbury voiced her anger to what she sees as the council's hypocritical stance at a meeting of Sudbury Town Council this week - and she received the backing of a councillor.

She said: “Babergh council say there are hard up and want money but they are quite willing to charge these people for parking but have they thought about how much money they could get from their own member's car park?

She added: “It would be an example to everyone if they paid up.”

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Responding to her comments at the meeting, Peter Beer, a town and district councillor, said: “In my opinion if there was to be a charge it should be across the board.”

Nigel Bennett, also a town and district councillor, added: “Members did instruct officers to come back with proposals for staff and members before implementation of car parking charging in Sudbury and Hadleigh.

“It will be dealt with before October when charging comes in.”

Babergh's strategy committee signed off the draft budget yesterday, which includes a �1.50 charge across Sudbury and Hadleigh for people staying over three hours, to be rubber stamped at full council on February 23.

A spokesman for Babergh District Council said charging staff for its offices at Corks Lane, Hadleigh, will be looked into as part of a huge savings drive to fill a deficit in their budget.

“We will be conducting a number a reviews into a number of issues, including the issue regarding staff and members using Babergjh's car parks,” he said.

The voting of January 28th's council meeting at Babergh all but sealed the fate of car parking charges in Sudbury and Hadleigh, which remained one of the few market towns left in the country where shoppers could park for free.

But a councillor who stood up against keeping them in the draft budget at the meeting, David Grutchfield, who represents Hadleigh, has taken a swipe at some of his fellow members for the way they voted.

He said: “I would have thought one or more people, especially those in Hadleigh who said they supported free parking, when it came to the crunch would have put their vote against car parking. People will remember that.”

The vote, to submit the draft budget with car parking charges in, was carried 28 to 10.

Those who voted to carry it were:

Jenny Antill (Waldingfield)

Nigel Bennett (Sudbury south)

Martyn Booth (Sudbury south)

John Brand (Long Melford)

David Busby (Pinewood)

Sue Carpendale (Mid samford)

Ricahrd Cave (Nayland)

Penny Clarke (Berners)

Philip Gibson (Lavenham)

John Hinton (Dodnash)

Peter Holbrook (Bures St Mary)

Bryn Hurren (Boxford)

Jennie Jenkins (Leavenheath)

Lenoard Johnson (Pinewood)

Peter Jones (Brook)

Desmond Keane (Brett vale)

James Long (Chadacre)

Michael Miller (Dodnash)

Mary Munson (Hadleigh south)

Brian Riley (Hadleigh north)

Colin Spence (Waldingfield)

Rex Thake (Glemsford and Stanstead)

Carol Todd (Great Cornard north)

Humphrey Todd (Great Cornard north)

Trot Ward (Alton)

Gerald White (mid samford)

Richard Whiting (Hadleigh north)

Sue Wigglesworth (Lower brett)

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