Cash-hungry council set to scrutinise car parking

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Car parking charges in Sudbury and Hadleigh will be placed under scrutiny today as councillors meet to decide on future budget cuts.

Facing severe austerity measures, Babergh District Council says it will have to find further savings to balance the books – including car parking costs, which could signal increases to long-stay charges, and the introduction of short-stay fees .

A council spokesman said: “This will include looking again at the cost of providing and managing car parking in the district, as we need to consider and decide on a clear way of removing or reducing this cost.”

Despite having already made savings of nearly £5million over the last four years, and being on target to deliver at least £2million a year savings from integrating staff and services with Mid Suffolk District Council, the council says “significant” further savings are needed.

Having suffered Government spending cuts of 44 per cent over four years, equivalent to losing income of £2m a year, it is reviewing all costs.

Sudbury’s Chamber of Commerce, working with the town council and traders on a proposal to take over the management of the town’s car parks, says it is only weeks away from having a definitive plan in place.

“We’ve only just heard about this in the last few days, and they are putting us under a bit of pressure, but we’ve been here before,” said chamber president John McMillan. “We hope to have something firm in the next few months.”