Free parking . . . when the shops are closed

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WHEN is a council car park not a council car park? When no one wants to use it.

I will explain.

A couple of weeks ago I pointed out that the car park at the rear of the Tollemache Inn, which used to be a public car park was now a council-only car park.

Then I was contacted by a reader who told me that resurfacing work had taken place in this car park so I asked for the details.

I was told: “The car park is not a council employee car park only. The only time certain council employees, cabinet members and district councillors can use the car park is from Monday to Friday during office hours.

“From 6pm until 8am daily the car park is open to the public, free of charge as it is on Sundays and bank holidays.

“Only on Saturday is the car park operated as a pay and display car park, once again only between the hours of 8am and 6pm.

“With regards to the surface repairs carried out within the car park, this work was essential maintenance to various surfaces and paths around the building, mainly on the public footpath between Avenue Road and the Health Centre. The cost of the repairs was £2,148.”

So that’s OK then! During the week - shopping hours - only council employees, and councillors can use it, and when the shops are closed at 6pm the rest of us can use it.

And that cost was just the repairs, no mention of the lost revenue during the week from shoppers who may have wished to use it.

When are the rest of the roads like Springfield Road going to get repaired or don’t we have any councillors driving along there?

by Steve Cattell