Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 2°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

Emergency services including an air ambulance were called to the scene in Mersea Road, Colchester, close to the Strood, at 3.40pm. Pic: Alisha O’Dell Howard.

A double decker bus has crashed into a ditch in north-east Essex.

James Fairweather has been found guilty of murdering Nahid Almanea and James Attfield

The Colchester teenager convicted of murdering James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester in 2014 must serve a minimum of 27 years in jail.

Stock image of the Fiveways Roundabout in Mildenhall.

An Audi TT and a lorry were involved in a crash in west Suffolk on Friday evening.

Stock image.

Firefighters tackled a restaurant blaze in Colchester on Friday.

Joe Stilgoe, headlining this year's Ipswich School Festival of Music. Photo: Prasanna Puwanarajah

Hailed Britain’s very own Harry Connick Jr, Joe Stilgoe makes a welcome return to the Ipswich School Festival of Music this year.

West

 Appleby Rose Garden Seat presentation 
in Bury, April  1984

In 1984, the BBC was running its third series of programmes on English towns and one of those featured was Suffolk’s historical gem: Bury St Edmunds.

USAF fighter planes from RAF Lakenheath taken from a C130 Hercules

Almost £250,000 has been paid out in compensation for damage, injuries and loss of livestock caused by low flying military aircraft in East Anglia over the past five years, figures show.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24