Diss mayor's fury at parking plans
The mayor of Diss said she was 'seething' with anger at a district council's proposals to maintain the town's car parking charges.A controversial pay and display system was introduced by South Norfolk Council across its market towns last year, which has so far generated more than �250,000 in fees and fines.
The mayor of Diss said she was 'seething' with anger at a district council's proposals to maintain the town's car parking charges.
A controversial pay and display system was introduced by South Norfolk Council across its market towns last year, which has so far generated more than �250,000 in fees and fines.
But Jane Trippett-Jones spoke of her anger after members of the local authority's scrutiny committee recommended to keep the status quo at a meeting last week, which means that shoppers, workers and visitors will continue to have one free hour of parking.
The Diss mayor, who objected to the off-street parking charges last year, said the current system was 'ludicrous' and called for more favourable rates to help local traders.
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The current scheme, which has been implemented at 13 off-street sites in Diss, Wymondham, and Loddon, means that workers and visitors pay �3 for more than four hours parking.
Harleston Town Council agreed to pay �20,000 a year to keep its two public car parks permanently free, but Mrs Trippett-Jones said Diss was not financially able to follow suit.
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She called on South Norfolk Council to allow drivers to park for the first two hours for free, or to introduce lower hourly fees.
'It is cheaper for me to go to Bury St Edmunds and to spend a day there rather than going to Diss. I will be contacting Sandra Dinneen [South Norfolk Council chief executive] because it is not fair and I want our businesses to be supported.'
'It would be lovely to make it free all the time, but I don't think that would be possible. �1 for two hours is expensive and one free hour is not enough time and causes people to rush and doesn't encourage people to the town,' she said.
John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council, said he believed the authority had 'got it right' over its parking fee scheme, which is currently breaking even. He added that it was unfair to expect taxpayers' who do not have access to the council's car parks to subsidise those that use them.
The issue is set to be discussed by South Norfolk's cabinet on November 2.