Postbag: No sound reason for charges
PUBLISHED: 14:36 02 March 2006 | UPDATED: 13:17 04 May 2010
THE latest move by the district council reveals the true intention of the council, which is to raise revenue and is nothing to do with improving traffic problems or parking in the city. The central plank of original proposal was the provision of a park-a
THE latest move by the district council reveals the true intention of the council, which is to raise revenue and is nothing to do with improving traffic problems or parking in the city.
The central plank of original proposal was the provision of a park-and-ride facility which required charges to be made for parking to pay for the shuttle bus service, with such income to be ring-fenced for this purpose. The abandonment of the park-and-ride scheme means that there is no sound reason for any parking charges to be made.
Any charges will be a tax on people from the villages, for instance, the hundreds who travel to Ely to work and the shopkeepers who already pay massive business taxes, without providing a single additional parking space in the city.
A suspicious person might question the reason why a simple 'yes' or 'no' decision could not have been made at once and may feel that the ending of the existing working group and the delay in any decision until September is political and will ensure that any councillor will avoid having to make any decision or show his intention until after the next council elections.
The proposal to put the whole subject in the hands of unelected council employees, who will not themselves be affected by any charges imposed, will, of course, remove the troublesome public element from any discussions.
The worst possible suggestion is the use of a private company to manage any future scheme, such firms are target-based and elsewhere this has resulted in harassment and fraud on a large scale, although the council are not very efficient, they should at least control any future scheme.
It may be good idea if any candidate at the next council elections would declare their views on charges so the electorate can decide if they agree.
PHILIP J GOULD