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Pickles’ parking comments welcomed in St Edmundsbury

Eric Pickles, secretary of state for communities and local government
Eric Pickles, secretary of state for communities and local government

The leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council has welcomed the Secretary of State Eric Pickles’ comment that over-zealous parking enforcement undermines town centres, costing councils more in the long term.

Cllr John Griffiths said: “As so often, St Edmundsbury is ahead of the game on this, and we already give our motorists at least the ten minute parking leeway being proposed, and currently in the news.

“Partly as a result of this, 99.99% of everyone using our car parks do so without problem or enforcement penalties. We want people to come to our lovely and vibrant towns to work, shop and visit, and we constantly monitor and invest in our award winning car parks to encourage them to do so.

“St Edmundsbury operates its car parks in Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill under pre 2008 legislation, which saw the introduction of Civil Parking Enforcement. Whilst the majority of councils in England have switched to the more recent legislation, Suffolk County Council has not introduced Civil Parking Enforcement (except in Ipswich), which is a countywide decision affecting police enforcement, highways on street enforcement as well as off street car parking.

“Providing the right kind of, and good value, off-street car parks in our borough, is an important part of our role in supporting our town centres, visitors, businesses and the local economy. Had we contracted this responsibility out to third parties, we would probably not be in as strong a position to constantly review things and make sure parking here is as attractive, available, and reasonably priced as possible.”

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