Council staff set to lose free parking

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COUNCIL staff will have to pay to park at work in a shake-up at Rutland County Council.

Cabinet members decided this week that it would scrap its 82 staff permit holder bays at council offices in Catmos and open them to the public to pay and display.

The council says the move will save £220,000 a year and it wants to encourage council staff to car share or use more sustainable modes of transport.

The new 64 pay and display bays will be open to staff before 10am and members of the public after 10am.

There will also be six parent and child or disabled spaces, six staff short stay bays, 18 staff car share bays, six Rutland County Council member bays, 12 pool car bays, two duty staff on call bays and six 30-minute visitor bays.

Charges for Catmos car park will be the same as charges for Westgate car park, ranging from 40p for up to half an hour to £2.30 for more than three hours, excluding Wednesdays.

Weekly tickets will also be available at £8, Monday to Friday, and £9.50, Monday to Saturday.

Portfolio holder for highways at Rutland County Council Roger Begy (Con) said: “We have thought long and hard about the changes that we could make to help improve parking for both residents and staff.

“Staff will be encouraged to use most cost effective means of transport to get to meetings etc.

“We are encouraging staff to car share as much

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as possible to help reduce the amount of space that staff vehicles take up in the town and we will be increasing the use of pool cars for staff, rather than staff using their own individual cars for work purposes.”

The £220,000 saving is based on the removal of essential car user lump sum allowances and reduced mileage rates for staff; reduced business mileage as a result of more sustainable transport options being available to staff and additional income from the pay and display car park.

Catmos car park currently has 18 car share bays, two pool car bays, six member bays, six 30-minute visitor bays, six parent and child or disabled bays and 82 staff permit holder bays.

The car park becomes pay and display on Saturdays.

The changes will come into effect by November 1 .

But some residents say the decision has increased their concerns that council staff will find alternative places to park for free and make the roads leading into Oakham dangerous.

Hugh Illingworth lives in Stamford Road and is one of the residents on the road campaigning to stop people parking in it. He said: “We have already presented a petition to the council from residents in the road and will be monitoring the situation.”

He said it would be interesting how the council monitored the situation once the changes were made.