Suffolk

Council bid for free parking in Sudbury and Hadleigh

Visitors to Sudbury and Hadleigh will still be able to park for free, if a town council plan comes to fruition.

Sudbury Town Council wants to take over the towns' car parks from Babergh District Council, who last year brought in charges for long-stay parking.

The town council fears charges for short stay parking will also be introduced.

But Babergh District Council said the additional parking charges was "one option" being considered.

However, council representatives will meet members of Sudbury Town Council to consider their proposal.

'Alternative income'

The town council said Babergh currently spent £70,740 on car park wardens and that too much of this money went to external contractors.

It said a saving of £35,000 could be made by employing three wardens for a total of 60 hours a week.

Further funding could be raised by advertising on the reverse of parking tickets, the council said.

Sue Brotherwood, Sudbury town clerk, said: "It is this council's intention to do everything in its power to help make the savings and generate income to avoid the need for any further increases in car parking charges."

The plan would also aim to keep the long-term parking charge set at £1.50 a day.

The two councils will meet on Thursday.

A Babergh District Council spokesperson said: "In light of substantial cuts from central government, Babergh District Council has £1.3m less to spend on public services in the next financial year.

"If income is not increased, money or savings will have to be found elsewhere. Charging for car parking to meet the cost of running our car parks is just one option under discussion.

"As well as looking at the costs in delivering the parking service we are also reviewing charging for car parking to meet the cost of running our car parks."

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