Renewed plea for parking fees

PUBLISHED: 13:36 22 September 2006 | UPDATED: 22:15 28 May 2010

FORMER council leader, Councillor Alan Melton, has been thwarted in his bid to persuade colleagues to agree to introduce parking charges which he claimed could net £324,000 a year. Cllr Melton re-opened the pay-parking debate at last Thursday s full coun

FORMER council leader, Councillor Alan Melton, has been thwarted in his bid to persuade colleagues to agree to introduce parking charges which he claimed could net £324,000 a year.

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

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

He said the overview and scrutiny committee was still considering the issue, although it was not expected to publish its findings until next year.

This failed to satisfy Cllr Melton who claimed 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.

Cllr Melton said: " If you take a typical car park like Somers Road, Wisbech, with 270 car parking spaces at, say, an average of £1 per day for the average space, that's £270 or £1,620 per six-day week or £81,000 per 50 week year, allowing for two weeks a year closed to fairs."

Multiply that by at least four other average car parks across the Fenland towns, he said, and you produce an annual income of £324,000 per year.

"Council taxpayers of Fenland would all be at least £11 per year better off, or the council could easily fund extra front-line services, such as toilets, CAB, tourism, and improve the existing car parks by providing CCTV and lighting.

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

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