Norfolk residents sign Breckland parking charges petition

Shoppers, traders and residents are still flocking to sign a petition against the introduction of parking charges in Breckland's five market towns.

More than 10,000 signatures have been collected so far and dozens more forms are still circulating in Dereham, Swaffham, Watton, Thetford and Attleborough, with many shops requesting extra copies.

Breckland Council needs to save about �3.5m over the next five years and has agreed to spend up to �25,000 on a feasibility study which could lead to charges at its car parks for the first time.

The petition has attracted phenomenal support since it was launched by Breckland Labour Group in mid-December.

Up to 5,000 signatures are expected to be collected in Dereham alone, where around 60 shops are involved. Thetford Post Office has collected 1,000 signatures so far.

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'Some town centres, like Thetford, are struggling already,' said leader of Breckland Labour Group, Terry Jermy. 'A lot of people are just getting by and I think parking charges could be the tipping point.'

The petition can be found at www.

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Meanwhile, Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman yesterday launched a survey to find out more about what people in his constituency think about parking charges. He has put a survey on his website and people have a month to reply. The website address is

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