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SIDMOUTH: Councillors shoot down Knowle parking charges

Friday, 17 January 2014

Parking spaces at East Devon District Council’s Knowle headquarters will remain free of charge.
A proposal by district councillor Roger Giles (Independent, Ottery St Mary Town Ward) to introduce charges was defeated by EDDC’s Cabinet on Wednesday, January 8th.
Councillor Giles is not a member of the EDDC Cabinet, but he spoke at the meeting and said: “We are looking in every possible direction to make savings so why doesn’t this council do the obvious, and introduce car parking charges at Knowle?
“Many people from across East Devon have to pay to park their cars at work at such places as the Met Office, the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Exeter University, and county hall.
“A modest charge of £1 a day would be much less than that charged at the places I have just mentioned. One pound a day would be a much cheaper than the £1 an hour charged in EDDC car parks.
“And a modest charge of £1 a day would generate income of something like £50,000 to £70,000 per year for EDDC.
“I am aware that some people living close to Knowle may be concerned about the effects of charges at Knowle and the displacement of cars into surrounding roads – this is certainly a point to be addressed.
“But as far as I am aware the vast majority of people living nearby favour EDDC remaining at the Knowle – and this measure would make it more likely.”
But members of the Cabinet didn’t agree and the proposal was refused.:
Among reasons for refusal were claims that:
l Charging for parking would require machines to be installed and staff to patrol – the capital and revenue outlay not being justified, particularly in the light of EDDC’s intention to relocate.
l EDDC staff needing their vehicles for work would need to be issued with a parking permit, which would add to the complexity of the arrangements.
l Car parking charge would require renegotiations of staff conditions.


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