Councillors to oppose parking fees plan

By Patrick LowmanCOUNCILLORS are expected tonight to begin a battle against the introduction of car parking charges in their town amid fears the move could drive shoppers away.

By Patrick Lowman

COUNCILLORS are expected tonight to begin a battle against the introduction of car parking charges in their town amid fears the move could drive shoppers away.

The controversial proposal has been suggested as a means of raising revenue in Sudbury, Hadleigh and Lavenham.

But Sudbury town councillors have branded the move outrageous and are expected tonight to pass a resolution opposing any future charges.


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The row erupted after Babergh district councillor, Nick Ridley, raised the issue of parking fees during a strategy committee meeting.

“We are one of the few councils in the country that is not considering introducing parking charges,” he said.

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“I do think we should bite the bullet and do something about it because we going to find it hard to identify new sources of income. If we don't, we are going to find ourselves in an impossible position.”

But his comments provoked a furious response in Sudbury, with many feeling the move would jeopardise the town's economy.

John McMillan, chairman of the chamber of commerce, said: “We are fairly certain this would drive shoppers away from the town centre. We are in competition with places like the out-of-town stores that do have free parking.”

Last month, the town's highways committee suggested writing to Babergh District Council, outlining its disgust over the parking charge suggestion.

The matter goes before the full council tonight and members are expected to back a resolution to inform the district council of its strong objection to any future plan to introduce parking charges in Sudbury.

Town clerk, Sue Brotherwood, said: “It is expected the councillors will say a big no to the parking charges. The highways committee has already voted against it and we expect the full council will do the same tonight.”

patrick.lowman@eadt.co.uk

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