St Edmundsbury: Cabinet members accept officers’ recommendations on car parking

A RAFT of recommendations affecting St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s car parks have been approved by cabinet members.

Out of a total of 17 proposals put forward by the borough council’s overview and scrutiny committee, the cabinet accepted 11, accepted three with modifications and rejected three as well as considered further options.

The review of car parking charges was prompted by the presentation of a petition to the borough council in February by Mark Cordell, chief executive of town centre business improvement group Bid4Bury, about the proposed “across the board” increase in charges. Mr Cordell has said Bid4Bury businesses would be “delighted” to hear cabinet had accepted in principle the vast majority of recommendations from the overview and scutiny committee.

But after Wednesday’s meeting, the committee’s chair David Nettleton, who led the review, said: “The three they have rejected they have just got it wrong and they have made the wrong decision which is not beneficial to business, car parking customers.”

He added how the changes had “diluted” the outcome of the review.

The proposals officers recommended cabinet members reject included the option of low emission parking in School Yard West car park in Bury.

An overview and scrutiny committee recommendation on tariffs was accepted with one change, which would see a smaller increase in the proposed charge at St Andrews 1 (short stay) than what the committee had recommended. Overall the proposal on tariffs is for some charges to increase and for others to be frozen or reduced.

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Cabinet members accepted in full the overview and scrutiny committee recommendation to commission a study to investigate pay on exit in Bury and Haverhill.

Cabinet’s decisions on the parking review will be fed into the budget-setting process. The budget will then be presented to full council in February.

Mr Cordell said Bid4Bury businesses would be “particularly pleased” to hear cabinet was prepared to seriously consider a pay on exit option for the town.

Mr Nettleton said he was unhappy overview and scrutiny’s recommendations had gone back to council officers, who then made different recommendations to cabinet members, adding officers had effectively been asked to “scrutinise the scutiny committee”.

But John Griffiths, leader of the borough council, disagreed with Mr Nettleton. He said everybody, including businesses and residents, were involved with the process, adding how he believed the end result was an improvement.

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