Parking permit plan slammed

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FREE parking permits for Boston Borough Council staff have been slammed as ‘grossly unfair’ at a time when parking fees for the public are due to go up.

Independent councillor Carol Taylor has called on the council to re-think its decision to continue to give the passes to its workers and councillors – which allow them to park for free while at work.

She argues that charging workers and members could raise the authority tens of thousands of pounds at a time when it is facing large Government cuts and feels council workers should share the burden of savings with the public.

Coun Taylor (pictured) said: “I think this is fundamentally wrong when we are asking the public to have an increase in parking charges.

“What on earth makes council staff exempt? They work very hard but this is grossly unfair.

“We should all be in this together and all pay parking charges.”

Parking charges are due to rise by 10p per tariff in 2012/13, with disabled drivers also asked to pay.

Last week we reported how councillors said that staff had faced enough hardship recently. Cost cutting at the council has seen staff face a two-year pay freeze in measures that save more than £400,000.

Staff numbers will fall from 281.75 to 270 (full-time equivalents) in 2012/13.

A spokesman said: “It is part of the pay and conditions agreement with staff that they are provided with car parking to carry out their work.

“Their permits only allow them to park for the hours that they are employed to work for Boston Borough Council.

“Councillors can only use their parking permit when they are engaged in council business. There is no cost associated with this provision.”

A total of 249 free permits have been issued. If everyone of the people who received a permit paid for a full £328 a year parking pass it would raise £81,344.