Letters: Shirley Matthews, August 8, 2015

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Re the article by “Buttercross” expressing his concern over car parking problems in Swaffham, (Lynn News 17/07/15).

Buttercross was born and bred in Swaffham and has always taken a keen interest in happenings in the town; indeed his wife served on Swaffham Town Council for a short period within the last three years. With the in-depth knowledge he must have accrued during his lifetime, he still manages to inflict us with his drip-by-drip negativity week in and week out in his article in your paper by using half-truths.

The car park in front of the Assembly Rooms and the Pedlar car park, both belonging to Breckland Council, were monitored for the two-hour parking restriction by our town council, by arrangement with Breckland, before the monitoring was taken over by West Norfolk Council. This worked well. However, we have experienced great difficulty in engaging West Norfolk Council in talks to consider a resumption of this or a similar arrangement. However, at last a meeting has been arranged and will take place later this month.

Buttercross is quite right when he says the traffic wardens employed by West Norfolk Council monitor roadside parking and the lay-bys only, and this has always been the case since traffic wardens came into existence, no change there. I need not emphasise how we councillors in Swaffham are very much looking forward to meeting the officer concerned.

As to the accusation that a detailed plan presented by a keen member of the public to our council, to show how he thought the Theatre Street car park could be accessed from the south of the town, has not been acted upon. It is so easy to check our council minutes, Mr Buttercross. This plan was given to Norfolk County Council as it would be in their remit to study the plan and act upon it, should it prove a viable proposition. The answer was that it was not worth doing a study on it (in itself costing a huge amount of money), as there would most certainly not be sufficient money in any pot to carry out the project if indeed it was proved a possibility.

So, “this sensible and easily implemented suggestion and indeed some similar common sense being applied elsewhere” is not quite so easily implemented, although sensible as councillors, we are more than prepared to accept constructive criticism, but Buttercross knows those car parks are in a different category from the roadside parking and have been treated differently since the invention of traffic wardens and if he read our minutes, perhaps we could be spared the constant cynicism and innuendo week by week. It is very tiresome and depressing and belies the fact that he is such a pleasant man with whom one can have a pleasant conversation. The obvious conclusion is that the ivory tower he sits in to do his weekly article is affecting his judgement. Come out, Mike and speak with us.

Cllr Shirley Matthews

Gordon Terrace