Car park charging proposal at Norfolk council

Staff already facing job cuts and a reduction in pay and hours could also be charged to park at their work place as part of an adult education shake-up.

A consultation is currently taking place to restructure Norfolk County Council's adult education service.

As part of the re-organisation, one of the proposals is to charge staff at Wensum Lodge in King Street, Norwich, to park in the car park. If they came into effect, the charges would also apply to site users as well as the 85 people who work there.

The news comes as county council workers across the board await to hear of their fate following funding announcements made last week.

A County Hall spokesman said: 'The future of the adult education service is currently under consultation. The council is restructuring the service and looking at how it should be delivered in the future.

'Charging for parking at Wensum Lodge is one of the proposals being consulted on but it has not been decided yet.

'We have been considering it at Wensum Lodge because there are too few spaces for the people who want to use them and we also thought it might discourage people from using their cars.'

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Adult education supports a wide range of learners, from 16- to 18-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) to pensioners taking hobby courses such as life drawing, sugarcraft and pottery.

Courses are offered across the county including in Norwich, Wymondham, Cromer and Yarmouth. Recently, the hourly rate for leisure classes went up by more than 20pc from between �4.25-4.50 to �5.50.

People who use the site have also been consulted about the proposed changes. It has not been proposed to introduce parking charges at any other adult education site.

The consultation results are due in the next couple of weeks.

Jonathan Dunning, a spokesman for council workers union Unison, said they would 'oppose' the proposal of car park charges.

He said: 'When the county council raised car park charging as a general proposal before, we made it clear at the time that when in real terms, staff are facing a pay cut, it would be inappropriate to then make them pay for parking.'

Do you think council staff should be charged to park? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email