No sign of Swaffham car park management terms after six months

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Town council officials in Swaffham are still waiting for draft terms under which they could take over the management of the town’s car parks, six months after they first asked for them.

The authority voted last November to formally request that the management of the facilities is transferred to them from Breckland district council, if agreement can be reached between the two parties.

But, despite the request, Wednesday evening’s town council meeting heard draft terms of reference for a possible agreement had still not been provided.

Members were told “internal discussions” had been taking place within the district council about the issue.

But town clerk Richard Bishop said he was pushing for the matter to finally be resolved ahead of the council’s finance meeting later this month.

He said: “If we get it, at least we can consider it.”

The town council’s decision to pursue the management of the car parks itself follows long-standing concerns about the way the sites are being managed.

They include a lack of enforcement of time restrictions on stays in the Market Place car park and the question of whether charges could be introduced.

At present, Breckland does not impose car parking charges, though some town councillors believe they could help to stop spaces being taken up by individual motorists for longer than permitted.

But business leaders have warned they would resist efforts to introduce charges, arguing they could deter would-be visitors from coming to the town.