Protestors over parking charges gather at council leader's home

North Street car park, Sudbury. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Changes to short-stay parking in Babergh are being planned from July 2021 - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Police are investigating a demonstration over changes to short-stay parking charges in Babergh yesterday after protestors gathered at the home of a council leader. 

A convoy of around 12 vehicles gathered at Babergh District Council leader John Ward’s home in Boxford, where his daughter Eleanor was on her own working. 

She said that she heard "loads of horns and tooting” and added: “I had no idea what was going on, I thought maybe they were lost. I went to the back door and by this time they had started getting out of their cars and I was feeling quite intimidated.” 

Ms Ward said she did not know any of the group and had been left “physically shaking” after demands to know where Mr Ward was. 

It has also been reported that one man attempted to try and enter the home. 

Babergh Conservative leader John Ward said it was a good step for the councils to take. Picture: SAR

Babergh District Council leader John Ward, whose home was visited by a group of protestors over changes to parking charges - Credit: Archant

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A Suffolk police spokeswoman said: “Suffolk Police were contacted at 11.52am on Wednesday, December 30, following reports that a number of vehicles had turned up on a driveway at a residential address on Hadleigh Road in Boxford. 

“The vehicles had left prior to police arrival but enquiries are continuing and officers would like to hear from anyone who may have any information about the incident.” 

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It is understood that video footage from neighbours has been collected while Ms Ward had taken down vehicle registration numbers. 

It followed a gathering of vehicles at the Bridge Street car park in Hadleigh over the proposed changes in short term car parking fees, which from July will see most car parks reduce the free parking time from three hours to 30 minutes. 

Mr Ward said: “I am used to receiving emails and people are welcome to do that, and I have become immune to some of the online abuse. But when people start to bring it to your home intimidating your family that it is beyond the pale. 

“These people don’t just shame themselves, they shame the whole of the town. They are not the true representatives for what is a lovely little town, it’s just a shame that they have done this.” 

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Suffolk police on 101 quoting crime reference number 37/75184/20. 

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