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Charge council staff to park'

PUBLISHED: 11:56 02 April 2009 | UPDATED: 11:37 12 August 2010

RESIDENTS are urging a council to stop grace and favour parking for its staff and instead to use bays to raise revenue for the borough. Bromley council gives 400 free parking places to its workers in the Civic Centre, in Stockwell Close, Bromley and the

RESIDENTS are urging a council to stop grace and favour parking for its staff and instead to use bays to raise revenue for the borough.

Bromley council gives 400 free parking places to its workers in the Civic Centre, in Stockwell Close, Bromley and the St Blaise car park off Rochester Avenue, Bromley.

But residents say the bays could be used to generate income for the borough and say the council is hypocritical for claiming to be eco-friendly while not encouraging its staff to use public transport or cycling.

Resident Rob Miles, 65, from Petts Wood, said: "Two years ago a suggestion that grace and favour parking for council staff should stop but there has been zero action.

"For the past 20 years directors, management and other non essential car users have enjoyed free grace and favour parking on two floors of the Civic Centre and the St Blaise car parks.

"There are over 400 parking places given free to council employees. How environmentally friendly is that?

"I find it amazing that our eco-friendly re-recyclable council turns a blind eye to this situation. Instead of increasing the council tax how about Bromley gets its staff on public transport or on their bikes."

Mr Miles added: "The revenue generated on 400 bays seven days a week at even £5 a day would raise around £275,000. I'd like to see these proposals introduced and our council tax dropped by 2.8 per cent."

But Bromley council defended its stance on keeping the places for staff. A council spokesperson said: "Parking spaces are issued to staff for a number of reasons including the need to quickly and easily access their vehicles for business use during the day, on medical or health and safety grounds, and to aid recruitment and retention.

"This approach is cost effective in terms of reducing travelling times, mileage and parking costs, while ensuring speed of response to the needs of some of our more vulnerable residents when necessary.

"At the same time, the council promotes alternative forms of transport to the car for getting to work including walking, cycling and public transport as part of a wider effort to reduce our carbon footprint."

katherine.nelson@archant.co.uk

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