Fury as car parks left like ‘skating rinks’

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A Sudbury woman has hit out at a council’s decision not to grit public car parks left like “ice skating rinks” after this week’s snowy cold snap.

Sue Treadaway, from Maldon Court, used the car park next to Roys on Tuesday and said she was amazed to find it had not been gritted.

“People were slipping all over the place, and it was potentially lethal for cars and pedestrians to manoeuvre,” she said. “It was especially bad for the elderly and disabled.”

Mrs Treadaway, who worked at St Gregory Primary School as an assistant, said she went to Sudbury Town Hall to find out why the car parks had not been gritted.

When she was told it was Babergh’s policy not to grit public car parks, she decided to find out if the council did it for its own staff.

“I drove to Babergh’s offices in Hadleigh to see if its car parks were gritted, and I took photos of the free staff car park where you can plainly see the gritted and cleared walkways around the parked cars,” she said.

“This non-gritting policy must only be applicable to the public who pay their wages. It would seem as though its one rule for them and one for us.”

But this week, the district council said its Corks Lane staff car park was probably gritted by a helpful caretaker in the building – and it was not an official policy to grit its own car parks, while not gritting public ones.

A spokeswoman said: “If it has been gritted, it would have been done by our own caretaker but in line with the council’s policy, which is to grit the entrance and exits, disabled bays and any footpaths of car parks.

“Mid Suffolk has always done this and, to bring Babergh in line with Mid Suffolk, this is the first year that Babergh has gritted the entrances and exits, disabled bays and footpaths.”

She said that public car parks were too large an area for the council to clear and it did not have the resources.

Mrs Treadaway said she still believed it was wrong for the council to have gritted its staff car park, even if it was by a caretaker.

“It still misses the point that the council gritted for the staff but not for the public” she said.

“When I was at the town council offices in Sudbury, there was another gentleman complaining about the state of the car parks, saying people were slipping all over the place.

“People will not come and shop if they are frightened of walking across car parks,” she added. “They are like ice rinks.”