Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 3°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Babergh: Council looks to cut £200k parking costs

08:00 18 January 2013

BABERGH councillors have been told of the financial challenges facing the district authority as it battles with a 44% cut in Government money over the next four years.

shares

The council’s financial outlook and 2013/14 draft budget came under scrutiny for the first time yesterday by Babergh’s strategy committee.

Committee chair Jennie Jenkins said despite the council making savings of nearly £5million over the past four years - and being on target to achieve at least £2million annual savings by 2015/16 from intergrating staffing structures and service delivery with Mid Suffolk District Council - the financial situation was still “difficult and challenging”.

Committee member Nick Ridley, who praised council officers for doing the best they could in such trying circumstances, said: “It is clear that without the intergration, we would be in serious trouble and facing a lot more difficulty right now.”

Committee members heard how Babergh intended to make an “early start” to settling its financial plans for 2014/15 and beyond by reviewing all of its costs - including those relating to car parking in the district.

Running car parks in Hadleigh, Sudbury and Lavenham currently costs the council £200,000 per year. While some councillors believe free short-term parking should be maintained at all costs, others feel it should at least be “cost neutral” to the council.

Councillor Sue Carpendale expressed concerns that the car parks were a financial burden on the council. She said: “This subject has been raised over and over again and it keeps coming back to bite us. I don’t believe parking charges should be introduced to raise revenue, but it’s obvious that the charges we have in place don’t do the job, so we have got something wrong.”

Fellow member Mr Ridley agreed adding: “We are the only district council in Suffolk that doesn’t have a net income from cark parking, let alone trying to balance the books. We shouldn’t forget that in the case of Lavenham for example, tourists would be reasonable target to obtain a certain amount of money through parking fees.”

A group of town councillors and chamber of commerce representatives from Sudbury are currently working to keep short-term parking free for motorists visiting Sudbury and Hadleigh. But despite having nearly a year to come up with a business plan, no firm figures have yet materialised.

Councillor Simon Barrett said the parking group needed a “wake up call” adding: “They really must get a plan together before the end of this financial year to say if they can or can’t take this on so that we can move forward.”

The council’s overview and scrutiny committee will dsicuss the draft budget next Tuesday.

shares

0 comments

Tim Passmore has vowed to tackle FGM

Police in Suffolk have said tackling Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and sexual abuse is a key priority, and have vowed to take a “zero tolerance” approach to the issue.

Fun at Sutton Hoo this half-term

For more days out suggestions, see our packed Event guide in the paper every Friday or check out @WhatsonWayne on Twitter.

Eddie the Eagle movie starring Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman

It’s the ultimate underdog story – and one of Suffolk’s most famous sons has lent his songwriting skills to its big screen dramatisation.

Nigel Kennedy plays on the Lake Stage on the first evening of the festival

Bury St Edmunds is fast becoming a cultural hub for the arts in East Anglia with superstar violinist Nigel Kennedy set to headline this year’s Bury Festival.

Remi Morrison is pictured at Pump and Grind in Ipswich.

Love is the theme this week as venues in Ipswich celebrate Valentine’s Day with live music spanning from blues, reggae, rock and soul.

Sleepless in Seattle

Instead of splashing out on an expensive meal this Valentine’s, why not have a romantic night in watching a themed film?

Most read

Fred Olsen Travel Sale

cover

Click here to view
the Fred Olsen
Travel Sale

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24