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BASILDON Council may crack down on town centre shop staff and commuters who park for free in residential areas, a meeting has heard.
Civil servants have agreed to include residential areas like Lee Chapel and St Martin’s in a town centre parking survey, being carried out to inform a new town centre masterplan.
The leader of the council suggested permit schemes should be introduced in affected areas.
Councillors were discussing town centre parking in a meeting of the council’s Town Centre Revival Committee last night, November 26.
Residential neighbourhoods surrounding the town centre were incorporated into the imminent study at the request of Conservative councillor Jeff Henry, who represents Laindon Park.
He said: “We do have an awful lot of our streets, right out as far as almost halfway to Laindon, rammed to the gills with people who, you know, they’re on minimum wage, working in shops, and they park in the streets and walk in.
“We’re also a commuter town. There’s a huge amount of parking in and around our estates.
“So could we maybe, while we’re spending big bucks to look at a study for this sort of stuff, start asking some questions about the wider borough and not just the town centre?
“I think it’s an opportunity to maybe fix the bigger picture as well.”
Labour council leader Gavin Callaghan responded: “I think we can certainly do that and I think we’ve got to look at the South Essex Parking Partnership as well and working with them to understand how effective that partnership is, especially on our residential streets, and what we could be doing about permits.”
A council officer told the meeting that parking in residential areas had been identified as an issue by a previous study in 2016, so it would make sense to include it as an area of investigation in a new study, due to be completed by February 2020.
The officer said: “That was an outcome from the original study, so that’s something we can look at in greater detail.
“The driving factor around this is the town centre, but clearly the town centre’s boundaries, we’ll see later in terms of the masterplan, does grade into areas.
“So we will need to understand that and we will try and incorporate that within this report.”