Council votes against car parking charges

PUBLISHED: 11:13 18 September 2006 | UPDATED: 22:14 28 May 2010

FORMER council leader Alan Melton has been thwarted in his bid to get colleagues to agree to introducing parking charges into Fenland. Cllr Melton re-opened the debate at last Thursday s council meeting, after querying what had happened to the £25,000 st

FORMER council leader Alan Melton has been thwarted in his bid to get colleagues to agree to introducing parking charges into Fenland.

Cllr Melton re-opened the debate at last Thursday's council meeting, after querying what had happened to the £25,000 study he commissioned four years ago whilst still leader.

Council leader Geoff Harper responded that the consultants' report was only in draft form, " and it remains a draft because things have altered."

He said the overview and scrutiny committee were still considering the issue, although they are not expected to publish their findings till the middle of next year at the earliest.

This failed to satisfy Cllr Melton who claimed that the issue had been around for 10-15 years, and the council was missing the opportunity to raise much needed extra money by not introducing charging.

He said councillors were being told repeatedly of the financial constraints they were under and there was an urgent need to consider car park charges.

He said even minimal charges would be equivalent to a seven per cent saving in council tax, effectively £12 per head of the population.

On a visit to Wisbech recently, he said, he used a council owned car park which had 270 spaces.

"Even by charging just £1 a day that would bring in £81,000 a year on that one car park alone," he said.

"The longer we hang on, the longer we have to find the money from elsewhere."

Cllr Harper said Cllr Melton "we do have an issue that needs to be addressed."

The overview and scrutiny committee was the right place for it, and given Cllr Melton's recent joining of that committee " I am sure he can have his say.

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