Concerns about the possible introduction of car parking charges in five mid-Norfolk towns dominated the second public meeting about how Breckland Council will fill a projected £3m budget gap.

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Speakers at last night’s event in Dereham raised fears charges would hit low-paid workers, damage shops which rely on visitors coming to the town and make parking difficult for local residents.

Council leader William Nunn laid out three options for parking: keeping it free at a cost of £300,000, charging after the first one or two hours to raise £150,000, or introducing an hourly fee to raise £300,000.

Cabinet members said they did not yet know how much a payment and enforcement system would cost or what the parking fees would be, but said long-stay parking for people who work in the town was being examined.

Philip Morter, who runs Bennetts in Norwich Street, said: “We have customers who come from Easton, Hingham, Attleborough and Wymondham. They come to market days and they come for the day, have lunch in town, do all their shopping and make a day of it because there’s free parking, but they won’t come if car parking charges are imposed.”

Christopher Taylor, who raised concerns about the social effect of introducing charges, said: “The costs of people coming into work paying for the next five hours every day is going to make a significant difference to that person if they can no longer afford to come in and work.”

The remaining public meetings, starting at 7pm, will be at Attleborough Town Hall on September 24, Swaffham Assembly Rooms on September 26 and Watton Queens Hall on October 2.

6 comments

  • For years Breckland Council's only interest has been in being able to say that they have the lowest level of Council Tax. Now their chickens are coming home to roost; they cannot raise Council Tax levels and are forced into considering ridiculous measures such as this which will only help destroy communities

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    NorfOik

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • No notice will be taken of the electorates views

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    Jacob Burns

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • What a joke to charge for parking in town, they,ll be turning the lights off at night next!?!?!?!?

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    paul ebbage

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Introduce parking charges and say goodbye to a vibrant town centre. People will simply take their business to out of town 'sheds', to the detriment of local business. The only people to benefit from parking charges will be the likes of Tescon and the trumped up muppets otherwise known as parking wardens. Can't believe that Breckland cannot be sure of how much implementing charges will cost.

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    Tractorboy

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • They say they are concerned about the future of our market towns. They are not, as they would not introduce parking charges if they were. Its worse that an increase on the rates. Then they let Tesco open with free parking to make matters even worse. Shocking.

    Report this comment

    Johnny Norfolk

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • What a joke to charge for parking in town, they,ll be turning the lights off at night next!?!?!?!?

    Report this comment

    paul ebbage

    Friday, September 21, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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