Call for more Norfolk roads to be covered by pay and display charges
- Credit: Archant Eastern Daily Press
A call has been made for on-street pay and display charges to be introduced in more parts of Norfolk - or for councils to pay extra to cover parking enforcement costs.
A fall in parking fines and pay and display payments due to coronavirus left the county's parking enforcement service needing government grants to help plug a budget black hole.
The Norfolk Parking Partnership and the separate Norwich City Civil Parking Enforcement rely on cash from pay and display parking, residential permits and penalty charge notices to offset costs of running the service, including for enforcement officers.
But the Covid-19 pandemic meant income over the past year was down £1.8m, as lockdowns meant people stayed at home.
At one point, there was a forecast £1.3m deficit, although government grants have closed that.
Most money for the Norfolk Parking Partnership is drawn from income raised in Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn.
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At a meeting of the partnership's joint committee, Graham Plant, Norfolk County Council deputy leader and former leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, suggested it might be time for other districts to bring in more on-street pay and display charges - or to make larger contributions to the partnership.
He said: "While it is welcome that other districts are being invoiced for their contribution, we should be looking at new pay and display opportunity schemes to be introduced across the rest of Norfolk.
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"Or, alternatively, if districts feel they don't want to introduce those parking charges, perhaps have a contribution to the Norfolk Parking Partnership to make sure it can operate in areas which don't want to have parking restrictions, but do want to have parking enforcement."
Jo Copplestone, from Broadland District Council, said the authority was working on a parking strategy and considering introducing charging.
But Eric Seward, from North Norfolk District Council, said: "Whenever that has been mooted, it has certainly met with opposition.
"The last time it happened was, I think, in Sheringham, and I can well recall, in a meeting of the district council, Sheringham councillors, at the time, giving officers a real roasting over the proposals."