Takeover to secure car park’s future
PUBLISHED: 15:30 10 May 2013
The car park and toilets in Hayes Lane, East Budleigh, are to be taken over by the parish council, ending fears they could become fee-paying, or be sold for development.
East Devon District Council gave East Budleigh Parish Council the chance to take over the facilities following a review of all its free car parks.
There had been concern that taking over the toilets could land the parish council with big bills for maintenance, but having looked into the figures, councillors believe the deal could actually save them money.
Parish council chairman Steve Baker told councillors at a meeting last week that, in their budget, they had set aside £4,800 to pay to EDDC for toilet maintenance.
With the parish council taking over the facilities, it will now pay £2072 in rates for the car park and toilets, leaving £2,728 for maintenance – far more than EDDC paid last year.
Cllr Baker said: “We have the money there to do it, it will give the parish council a standing within the community, and will keep [the car park and toilets] within the village.
“It’s ideal for the village in my opinion, and ideal for the parish council to have this on board.”
Cllr Baker also warned that if the parish council didn’t take over the car park, it could be lost altogether, as EDDC may not consider it worthwhile to charge people to park there.
“I believe if we don’t take it on, putting parking meters in there would not be worth it [for EDDC]. I think the writing’s on the wall that it would be sold off for development.”
Having agreed to take over the car park and toilets, the council could now look to reduce its costs still further, by trying to negotiate cheaper utility bills and rates.
Councillor Jennifer Ware also suggested that an easier to open door could be fitted on the disabled toilet.
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