July 28 2015 Latest news:
Monday, July 28, 2014
Staff could be forced to pay to park at Norfolk County Council’s headquarters, while council bosses said it was too early to say whether the public may also face charges.
"A common theme was that, having had an 18% pay cut in real terms since 2010, to charge for parking would be rubbing salt in the wound."
The council is reviewing parking at County Hall, with traffic surveys at the Martineau Lane site taking place over the past two weeks.
But staff have been told the review will almost certainly bring an end to the free parking they currently enjoy – with bosses saying increased pressure on the parking spaces available means a solution must be found.
A council spokesman said: “We are working on the assumption that the solution will include charging staff for parking, but it’s too early to know any other details around charging at this stage.
“Other likely outcomes of the review will be more flexible working options, such as better use of technology through the council’s Digital Norfolk Ambition project, and more showers being installed to encourage cycling and walking.”
The traffic surveys at County Hall have been checking how people get onto the site – whether by car, bus, bike or on foot.
A spokesman said: “We will use the information from the survey and other data on car park use and feedback from staff to inform the proposals.
“We currently have 830 spaces at County Hall, for 2,240 staff. We know that more than 1,000 additional staff will be based at County Hall as we make savings by rationalising other office accommodation in Norwich.”
The council said it was too early to say how charging for parking would work.
A spokesman also said they could not say whether members of the public visiting County Hall, or county councillors attending meetings, would also be expected to pay if parking charges were introduced.
Jonathan Dunning, Norfolk County Council branch secretary for Unison, said a staff survey carried out by the trade union had found 73% of staff were against the principle of charging for parking.
The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital charges staff to park at its Colney site, with the amount they pay dependent upon their salaries.
• Do you think council staff should pay to park at County Hall? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.