Hartlepool councillors urged to give up free parking spaces

Hartlepool Civic Centre.
Hartlepool Civic Centre.

A group of Hartlepool councillors are calling for an end to free parking spaces for elected members in a move they say will boost council coffers.

The town’s 33 borough councillors can take advantage of 11 free spaces in the car park beneath Hartlepool Civic Centre.

It doesn’t seem right that the council charges its own staff to park in the civic centre, but councillors have that privilege for free

Coun David Riddle

All other available parking spaces are used by council officers and other civic centre staff, who pay a monthly fee for the use of spaces.

The motion, which has been submitted by Putting Hartlepool First councillor David Riddle, proposes that all councillors voluntarily give up by the spaces which would be allocated to council staff, under the existing system of payment per month.

The move is being supported by councillors Jonathan Brash, Paul Thompson, Steve Gibbon and Kelly Atkinson.

Coun Riddle said: “It doesn’t seem right that the council charges its own staff to park in the civic centre, but councillors have that privilege for free.

“We’re living in an age where every penny counts and it’s important councillors do their bit to help save that authority money where we can.”

Coun Brash said councillors should not accept perks that are not available to council workers.

Coun Thompson said: “In many ways it’s high time there was a complete overhaul of exactly what councillors can claim for. The allowance itself should be more than enough.”

If the motion is accepted by the council’s chief executive Gill Alexander, it will be debated at the full council in March.