New parking charges for Waveney approved

Waveney is set to get a new car park charge regime from September it was confirmed last night.

A wide range of new parking charges and arrangements to be introduced from September 1 was agreed by the Conservative cabinet of Waveney District Council.

Including in the bundle of measures are plans to simply parking fees by rounding up parking fees by 5p to the nearest 10p.

And there will be a general reduction in all day parking fees to help visitors and shop workers

manage their budgets.

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It is claimed that traders should also be able to profit as all the district car parks will be free from 6pm.

Overall most changes involve increases or decreases of between 5p and 20p per hour for motorists.

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As well as some lower fees visitors to Bungay and Halesworth look set to benefit from additional and extended parking spaces.

However plans to charge blue badge holders to park in the district were approved - resulting in up to �130,000 going into the council's coffers.

Introducing the changes Stephen Ardley, deputy leader and portfolio holder for green environment and operational partnerships said: 'Our difficult task in a period of huge financial pressure on local government is to strike a balance between much needed revenue to protect important services and value for money parking.

'Priority this year has been to simplify car parking fees and charges across the district to improve clarity, consistency and, above all, fairness.

'We are looking at ways of making car parking charges fairer to all in Waveney.'

On the issue of charging blue badge holders Mr Ardley added: 'No one wants to pay more. However this proposal is part of a range of measures clearly designed to being fairness and genuine equality to a service, which wile remaining good value, brings in crucial revenue to help deliver services to everyone, including the most vulnerable.'

Julian Swainson, leader of the opposition Labour group, queried why introducing charges for blue badge holders could be 'branded fair for all'.

Mr Swainson also demanded the council carefully reviews the new charges to make sure people were happy with them and were not deterred from parking in the region.

The cabinet also agreed to monitor the fees and will discuss them again in November.

There will also be a report in to how the council's car parks are maintained and what work is needed to improve their infrastructure.

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