Mid Devon councillors and staff 'should pay to park'

Members of a Devon council should pay for parking before increasing charges for the public, a councillor has said.

Mid Devon councillors and staff currently get free parking through the use of about 240 permits.

Increases of between 20 and 30p an hour are due to be introduced at pay and display facilities in July.

Independent councillor Mary Turner said all car park users should be treated equally. The council said the increase was the first for five years.

'All the same'

About 200 free permits have been issued to staff at the Conservative-led authority, and 42 to councillors.

At pay and display car parks, current rates of between 60p for the first hour in long-stay car parks and 70p in medium stay are due increase from 1 July.

Ms Turner said council staff and members should pay because "we're all the same people".

She said: "Some of us are called councillors, but councillors are no better or worse than the public."

The council said its staff's terms and conditions provided free parking where possible, and permits were provided to cut back on any reimbursement costs.

It said: "Given the rural nature of our area, parking permits are provided to minimise the administration of charging and reimbursing the fees involved."

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