Letters: Mike Larcey, February 23, 2016

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It has come as a blow for residents of Downham that the council proposes to impose charges in the council’s car parks After all, we do pay substantial council taxes for increasingly diminished services.

Coming to Downham, it was with surprise that we found that car parks were free with a generous time limit.

In my previous home in the London Borough of Barnet, charges were seen for a long time as ‘income generation’ not as a solution to congestion.

Due to this government’s austerity programme, in which the stategy is to cut finance where there is greatest need, it is not surprising that councils should look for means of raising incomes and parking is an obvious target.

The Tory Party and Government promised local devolution but have kept the money to subsidise the people who bank roll them.

It does beggar belief that where there is greatest need, the jobless and low paid, the homeless and those struggling to pay rents, the sick and disabled, those having to use public transport to get to work, the services to these people are being slashed. What is also disheartening is the attack by this government on parties and agencies that oppose their plans (TUC, Labour, civil rights) and their strategy of blaming everything on migrants.

So, free parking in Downham is only the tip of the sludge. When we put in our pound to park for 20 minutes or whatever, we should remember that the Tories are wasting money on a useless and probably out of date defence mechanism, Trident, and a pointless referendum on EU membership. Why not have a referendum on a serious topic like Trident? Because it would not be a fixed result.

Mike Larcey, Downham Market