Car park transfer bid delay ‘prudent’, Swaffham town councillors told

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Councillors in Swaffham have been urged to wait for the results of a review before they press ahead with efforts to take control of the town’s car parks.

The town council agreed to formally request the transfer of the car parks to them last autumn, subject to successful negotiations with Breckland council.

But concerns about the idea were raised during a meeting on Wednesday.

Terry Jennison warned it would be “incredibly expensive” for the town council to manage the facilities.

Outgoing town mayor Paul Darby, who is one of the town’s district councillors, said the issue was currently being examined at Breckland level.

He added: “I think it would be prudent to leave it at this stage.”

The meeting was also told that the other Breckland town that had expressed interest in taking over its car parks, Attleborough, was also reviewing its position.

But Robert Bartrum said: “I think we should go ahead and seize control as soon as possible.”

He said town council management was supported by residents and argued the charge imposed on organisers of a classic car event held on the Market Place last month showed the district council was prepared to breach its non-charging policy.

Sheila Lister was also doubtful about whether the issue would be resolved during the tenure of the district authority’s current administration.

But Shirley Matthews said she was hopeful it would be resolved in that period and insisted: “It is being progressed.”

Another concern related to the council’s previous decision to spend up to £700 onwork to draft potential transfer orders.

Les Scott said he would be prepared to pay it, if needed, to ensure an “informed decision” could be made.

But Mrs Matthews argued that money was at risk of being “wasted”

However, Steve Allen said: “By spending that money, it would certainly get the ball rolling.”