Attempts to scrap free parking in Hadleigh would not work, say politician and business leader

Hadleigh High Street

Hadleigh High Street

A politician and a business leader in Hadleigh have expressed dismay at the news free parking across Babergh may be scrapped.

A review is underway by the district council’s Conservative group which may see fees introduced in its car parks across the town which are currently free for up to three hours.

This would also affect other towns in Babergh such as Sudbury.

Kathryn Grandon, a Conservative councillor for Hadleigh South, said she was against the introduction of parking fees in the town while Tony Addison, president of the Hadlegh Chamber of Commerce said he did not feel any money could be made out of the scheme.

Ms Grandon said: “All local authorities are in financial difficulties and we have to find funds from somewhere but I’m very against this being an option.

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“For a start I said in my manifesto that I would try and keep parking free in Hadleigh because I think it’s such a fundamental support to our high street and that is such an important part of Hadleigh.

“If we have an empty high street or shops coming in from outside you’re not just looking at shops closing, you’re looking at whole families being disrupted.”

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Mr Addison said: “The chambers of Sudbury, Hadleigh and Stowmarket have met and we’re working out a plan of action.

“In my view from what I have seen so far they won’t make a profit out of it because they have got to police it. There is a general feeling amongst businesses and residents it would be a foolish thing to do.”

Mr Addison added he believed the result of removing the free parking in Hadleigh on some shops “would be enough to knock them under” leading to more empty units in the town.

Babergh councillor Frank Lawrenson, who is leading the parking review on behalf of the Tory group, said Sudbury and Hadleigh received significant financial support via non-statutory discretionary funding for projects including the arts, the leisure centres, community groups – and free parking.

Despite a significant level of council savings introduced over the past few years, a large shortfall is forecast so the council has an obligation to examine all possible cost-saving measures, including parking.

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