Full response to Council Leader on free parking

Following Tribune’s article on the ambition to see free parking in our Borough, Conservative Council Leader Graham plant slammed the idea, threatening higher taxes if it were ever brought in.

Our full response to this below.

We welcome a response from Council Leader Graham Plant on the Tribune Party’s ambition to have free parking in our Borough. Other Councils in Norfolk, such as Breckland, manage to have free parking across their area by managing their finances in such a way that this is made possible.

Tribune are fully aware that to remove £938,000 from the Council budget without any other compensating actions would severely affect the Council, that is why we have stated that it is an ambition and would not be possible immediately. However this does not stop the Council being innovative and introducing schemes to reduce the parking charges.

As an example the first two hours could be made free, with any stay over that being charged at the standard rate.

There are so many examples of Council waste it is impossible to list all of them in just one response. The Borough Council has sunk significant sums of Council tax payers money on ‘nice to have’ projects such as the splash pad in Gorleston, an expensive ice-rink in the town centre and keeping the St.George’s Theatre financially afloat. Great Yarmouth Borough Council has also had to bear the cost of increased fly-tipping from the Conservative Party decision to charge for DIY waste and for this Cllr Plant and his colleagues at Norfolk County Council awarded themselves a pay rise.

There is clear evidence free parking does increase footfall, and whilst it is ambitious to ask for free parking across the Borough we do feel there is opportunity to achieve this in the future. This would be a much needed boost to the market place, whom we believe would much prefer money used on improved access to the town centre instead of a relocation they have rejected.

Mike Monk, Tribune Party Leader

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