No parking charges on Sundays

A TORY leader keen not to upset church-goers has rejected the suggestion of charging people to park on Sundays.Tim Passmore, leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, has also pledged there will be no increases in car parking charges on other days in Stowmarket just yet.

A TORY leader keen not to upset church-goers has rejected the suggestion of charging people to park on Sundays.

Tim Passmore, leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, has also pledged there will be no increases in car parking charges on other days in Stowmarket just yet.

Council officers had suggested investigating the feasibility of Sunday charges to catch shoppers in the town, after revealing car parking income was expected to be £30,000 less than expected for 2006/2007.

But charging people to park has proved deeply unpopular with both traders and residents and the Conservative/Independent administration has kept the tariffs on hold since April 2004.


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And at the executive committee meeting, at the authority's Needham Market chambers, councillors rejected the idea of investigating a possible Sunday charge.

Mr Passmore said: “We are not going to look at charging on Sundays. We want to raise income from car parks, but we do not want to be unfair about it. Looking into Sunday charging was roundly rejected, we do not want to upset church-goers.

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“We will not put car parking charges up until all the plans for regenerating Stowmarket come together, if we start putting charges up people will consider going to Bury St Edmunds or Ipswich where they have a greater choice of shops.”

Andrew Stringer, a Green district councillor who was among those to speak out against Sunday charging, said: “The Green group felt that this particular cash cow has been over-milked.

“Stowmarket is at a pivotal point in its regeneration, with a Marks & Spencer store coming and it would be irresponsible to threaten the future of the town's viability.”

The charges in Stowmarket vary depending on the length of stay and councillors did think it was worth undertaking a feasibility study during the next few months into the possibility of whether a half hour charge for those just stopping off briefly in the town, possibly for an appointment with a dentist or an optician, might be worth introducing.

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