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Put brake on parking charges call

PUBLISHED: 19:17 01 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:46 03 March 2010

STOWMARKET would be "crucified" by a rise in car parking charges, traders were have been told.

Businessmen and retailers in neighbouring Needham Market called an emergency meeting to discuss the suggestions that parking charges may be heading for other communities in Mid Suffolk.

STOWMARKET would be "crucified" by a rise in car parking charges, traders were have been told.

Businessmen and retailers in neighbouring Needham Market called an emergency meeting to discuss the suggestions that parking charges may be heading for other communities in Mid Suffolk.

But leading businessman Ian Mason, who owns a garage in Barking, expressed solidarity with traders in Stowmarket, on whom the stringent parking restrictions were already proving a burden.

"We were all of the opinion that they shouldn't be crucified in Stowmarket. They don't charge in Sudbury, in Hadleigh, why should they in Stowmarket," he said.

"The town is dying on its feet. In Needham we can nip in, stop and pick up something but if you did that in Stowmarket you'd have a traffic warden on you."

The Mid Suffolk District Council report of an informal consultation with Stowmarket's town council, chamber of commerce, Stowmarket Forum, district councillors and Asda Stores Ltd spoke of "string support" for charges in smaller market towns and villages.

A delegation from Needham Market's town council led by town mayor Sheona Warren, however, were yesterday reassured by a district council official that the report which sparked the row was "a factual report rather than suggestive", and made no specific recommendations to introduce parking charges elsewhere in the district.

Penny Otton, leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, said that the introducing of charges in other parts of the council's area was "unlikely".

Costs of installing machines and wardens "may not be cost effective" in smaller communities.

The council's executive committee is meeting on Monday when options, including raising the prices at council-run car parks in Stowmarket, are due to be discussed.

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