Fury at town parking charges proposal

By John HowardCOUNCILLORS have branded new car parking charges proposed for their market town a scandal.Mid Suffolk District Council wants to bring in the charges at Stowmarket's car parks in Ipswich Street, Milton Road, Bury Street, Iliffe Way and Meadow Centre.

By John Howard

COUNCILLORS have branded new car parking charges proposed for their market town a scandal.

Mid Suffolk District Council wants to bring in the charges at Stowmarket's car parks in Ipswich Street, Milton Road, Bury Street, Iliffe Way and Meadow Centre.

If the charges are agreed, it will see parking fees rise from April 1 from between 20p and £3.50 to between 50p and £8. Season tickets would also increase from £58.50 a quarter to £343, and from £208 a year to £1,220.


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The increases will generate an additional £340,000 for Mid Suffolk District Council as it tries to keep council tax increases to a minimum.

But the council admitted it had received nothing but opposition from people who have expressed a view about the charges during the consultation period.

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Stowmarket town councillors have also reacted furiously to the proposed increases.

Town councillor, Keith Scarff, warned the rises would have a devastating effect on businesses and the twice-weekly market.

“The season ticket is absolutely scandalous. If this goes through, no-one will be able to afford to pay for it,'' he said.

Town mayor, Barry Salmon, added: “This is a huge wedge if you work in Stowmarket and pay to park properly.''

But Gordon Paton, deputy town mayor and a member of the ruling Conservative administration at the district council, said it had had to find £1.57million in savings.

“I do not welcome car parking increases, but Mid Suffolk is between a rock and a hard place,'' he added.

Mid Suffolk District Council's executive committee will discuss the level of parking charges in Stowmarket on March 8.

john.howard@eadt.co.uk

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