'If nurses pay to park at the hospital, councillors should pay at the civic centre' - 91% back plans to make Hartlepool councillors pay to parking charges
Plans to force councillors to pay for parking at Hartlepool Civic Centre have received a warm welcome.
The proposal would see councillors subject to an annual £116 charge for using the underground car park at the civic centre.
Currently there are 23 councillors registered to park in the facility, with 12 bays allocated for members and no charge in place. The charge, set out in a review of expenditure, would cover the estimated £2,664 car parking which would otherwise be gained in income from others parking the bays.
The idea has been met with a rapturous reception from Mail readers, with 91% voting in favour of the idea in a poll on our website - and dozens backing the notion on our Facebook page.
Pat Porritt said: "NHS staff have to pay to park at work, food bank volunteers have to pay to park at the food bank, many other people pay to park at work so why not?"
Ann Duncan agreed: "If nurses have to pay for parking when working at the hospital then why shouldn't councillors pay at the civic too."
Rob Johnson said: "My wife had to pay more than £116 annually for a parking space. Why do councillors get them cheaper or for free?"
Alan Turner said: "Like most of you have said, if NHS workers have to pay - and lot of people have to pay to park out side there own property every year. I know it’s not a lot but should not have to be charged any thing
Charlene Welsh said: "I work for the hospice we are a charity and we all pay to park our cars!"
A number of other commentors also expressed concerns the councillors would just claim the parking fee back on their expenses.
Burn Valley ward councillor Dave Hunter was one of those commenting.
He said: "My opinion is this should go through, and I for one will happily pay it as I believe it the right thing to do.
"Also for the record I will not be claiming expenses as I have not for the last three or so years. "
Bryan Littler had a different take on the issue. He said: "Against the grain here but NO. No one should be paying in Hartlepool. Not even the councillors."