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Great Yarmouth Borough Council slams party calling for free parking in Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 11:32 14 September 2018

King Street pay and display car park in Great Yarmouth. Picture Joseph Norton

King Street pay and display car park in Great Yarmouth. Picture Joseph Norton

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Great Yarmouth Borough Council has slammed a political party which has called for free parking in Yarmouth.

The Tribune Party who have put forward this suggestion believe removing the cost of parking charges would be a better use of money than renovating new shop fronts which they feel would do little to help increase footfall.

Figures revealed by this paper last year show that the borough council made £935,000 in 2016/17 from parking charges.

More; car parking figures

Council leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Graham Plant, has hit back at these proposals.

He said: “The policy highlights the incompetence of the Tribune Party to understand the finances of the borough council.

“I would like to ask them where they think the income would come from if we’re removing parking charges.”

Two years ago the borough council trialled free parking during winter months in the town. This came at a cost of £45,000 to the council.

They then asked local businesses to report their percentage increase in profits from previous years but say it was not provided with “enough data” to fully understand the impact free parking had made on the businesses.

Mr Plant added: “It is really surprising that the Tribune Party are putting forward this policy when they’ve always believed in only presenting proposals if they have proper evidence. It is totally contradictory.

“The parking charges pay towards the services the council provides and if we didn’t have them we’d have to tax people more.”

In response to this, leader of the Tribune Party, Mike Monk, said: “Tribune are fully aware that to remove £935,000 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.”

The party has suggested the first two hours could be made free, with any stay over that being charged at the standard rate.

Tribune was officially set up by former UKIP members, including borough councillors, Adrian Myers and Robert Connell, in 2016.

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