Those concerned about the introduction of charges for long stay parking in Sudbury and Hadleigh might take some comfort from an agreement that was reached at Thursday’s Council Meeting. A season ticket scheme for residents and/or workers will now be considered before the introduction of the scheme in October. Of course this might mean that less money is raised, but in fact getting funds into the council’s coffers electronically and in advance would be cheaper to administer than bulky cash collection.
It was further agreed to look into the question of Babergh’s own staff paying to park at Babergh’s offices in Hadleigh. While not wishing to appear to have made up my own mind on this issue, I do feel that people should bear in mind the sacrifices in salary and conditions that Babergh’s staff are already making and weigh this in the balance when thinking of imposing further penalties on them.
Many Councillors continue to be unhappy about charging for parking. However most realise that some charges are really unavoidable if the budget is to be balanced for 2010/11. The result was that at Thursday’s meeting many who have voted against such proposals in the past made quite moving speeches about why it is ‘different’ this time.
And indeed it is different!
Implications for councillors of not producing a balanced budget are very serious. We could all be sent home and the budget would then be set by officers, supervised by a Government Department. At worst, if deemed to be negligent, we could all be personally liable to pay financial surcharges.
It is unlikely that a team of bureaucrats from central Government would think twice about setting a much more draconian parking regime for Sudbury than the one that is currently in prospect!