Tories pledge to ‘enshrine’ free parking in council constitution

East Cambridgeshire District Council.

East Cambridgeshire District Council. - Credit: Archant

He promised, if re elected, to keep free parking for at least four years but now East Cambs Council leader James Palmer has promised to go one stage further.

Cllr Palmer pledged to “enshrine the commitment to free car parking into the council’s constitution” and thus close down the debate permanently.

During the recent campaign Ely Traders Association wrote to all political parties calling on them to rule out a fresh bid to introduce parking charges.

Now the Tory controlled council has gone a stage further, with Cllr Palmer pledging constitutional changes as part of a ‘100 day commitment’ by the new administration.

As well as making free parking central to the council, the Conservatives have also pledged to establish a council trading company to allow it to develop land that it owns.

Recycling rates will be targeted at 60 per cent, the council will back community land trusts and funding will be agreed for the new leisure centre.

Lib Dem group leader Lorna Dupre said: “There is nothing new in this document – it is all familiar.

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“Our role as opposition councillors will be to test the Conservative administration’s seriousness about their promises and how they resolve the tensions between them.

“How will they both fund the expensive Ely leisure centre and deliver a financially sound council?

“Will their promise to be ‘robust’ in dealing with developers result in any real improvement in their famously dire performance on affordable housing?

“And finally, it is immensely disappointing that their vision for ‘improving local transport’ leaves no room at all for public transport of any kind or for cycling or pedestrians – every single one of their statements about transport relates to cars and car parking.”