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Hereford Voice

MPs and County Councillors Get Free Parking Passes

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HEREFORDSHIRE’S MPs and county councillors are among the lucky few who do not have to pay to park at county council car parks, a freedom of information request has revealed according to this article in the Hereford Times

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Access to information officers also revealed that Herefordshire Council has allocated a total of 547 staff business passes for the last financial year.

County MPs Bill Wiggin and Jesse Norman have been given permits for use while on business along with the Countess of Darnley, Susan Bligh, who is the Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire.


All 53 county councillors are issued with free parking permits which the council says can only be used while on council business but one member admitted it could be open to abuse.A councillor, who did not wish to be named, said:

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“Personally, I wouldn’t particularly mind if we had these passes removed.

“I expect some councillors stretch it to some extent as the allowance is very low for councillors in Herefordshire, the parking permit is one of the few perks of the role.

“You could attend a meeting that is three hours long and use a car park for five and go about doing other things.”

An information access officer said the 547 staff business passes had been allocated can only use them when on council business. 


She said:

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“It should be noted that some of these are issued to council fleet vehicles and some of these passes have been returned by staff who have left and a replacement issued to the new staff member.”

The officer explained that the parking permits were issued to remove the necessity of claiming back car parking charges while on business.She added:

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“A parking permit pass may only be issued where there is an expectation that an employee needs to have continual access to their own vehicle on each day they are contracted to work, in order to deliver off site planned or reactive council services to clients, residents and businesses.

“This definition is very specific and there must be no deviation from the intention.


“When deciding if staff have a need for a parking permit in each case, the service manager must expect this particular member of staff to have their own car with them at work every day and that if they did not have their own car, then services could not be delivered as there is no other way to do so, for example by using a pool vehicle, without significant inefficiencies.

"They must also be able to explain the rationale.”

 

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Parking permits PLUS at least another 500 paid at a reduced rate allowing parking at a cost no more than £1 A day (also open to the favoured few in the police) PLUS reduced cost parking at Plough Lane...employee benefit = increased council tax through reduced parking revenue...

Edited by StillStanding

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