Grantham Journal letter: Argument against plan unjustified

South Kesteven District Council leader Linda Neal
South Kesteven District Council leader Linda Neal
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SKDC leader Linda Neal claims that the Free Parking Campaign proposed by MP Nick Boles would be “totally at odds” with the council’s policy. This ‘policy’ means that Grantham and Stamford motorists currently have to pay for parking while Bourne motorists enjoy free parking. Is this equitable, fair or reasonable?

The comparative charges she quotes have blatantly been selectively chosen to support her argument, eg the only £3 all-day charge in Grantham is in Conduit Lane, while Welham Street and Wharf Road both charge £8 for over four hours. Furthermore, the £7.50 all-day charge she cites for Lincoln relates to those car parks near the station, while Broadgate and Chaplin Street (convenient for shopping) charge £4 for an all-day ticket.

But returning to the basic principle of free parking: of course people who don’t use car parks would be subsidising those who do, but this principle already applies to many services. Would she propose that our schools be funded only by tax-payers who have school-age children? Or should our police, fire and ambulance services only be paid for by those who use them?

We are told that free parking (which already exists in Bourne) would cost £370,000 – a mere 0.5 per cent of SKDC budget. In the Council Tax explanatory booklet we read that the ‘Well run council priority theme’ (whatever that means) costs 14 per cent of council spending. No prizes for guessing which priority local tax-paying motorists would choose.

Brian Bruce

Bourne Road, Colsterworth