It’s time to think local

PUBLISHED: 10:36 01 March 2007 | UPDATED: 15:01 12 May 2010

HIDDEN in a report to members of the Cabinet on North Herts District Council is a revealing comment. Or I should say revealing figures. The district council, so the report seems to say, is currently losing £177,00 on car parking charges – and that s after

HIDDEN in a report to members of the Cabinet on North Herts District Council is a revealing comment.

Or I should say revealing figures.

The district council, so the report seems to say, is currently losing £177,00 on car parking charges - and that's after adopting a 40 per cent increase in parking charges last year.

It had hoped that a rise in the car parking charges would produce an income across the whole district of £353,000.

It seems that that isn't going to happen.

There is a loss, too, of about £14,800 on car parking season tickets.

In Royston we have seen the results of the increase with more vehicles being parked in residential areas.

That, as we saw last week, is causing problems in the Newmarket Road area, and in the past, did so in the Green Drift area.

People are simply telling the district council that enough is enough.

And to be more precise, members of our own Royston area committee are probably quietly uttering the words: "I told you so."

At least they took a stand against the increase and predicted months ago that people would desert the car parks around Royston and park elsewhere.

I understand that Royston has lost 40,000 car park ticket sales in the past six months.

And all the time there is Royston Town Council, where members are desperate to talk about car parking, but, as yet, have not had a response from the district council.

A car parking strategy for Royston town centre was produced months ago by the Royston Town Centre Forum, but that, too, seems to have been ignored.

It is, however, a problem that cannot be ignored.

There is a need to look at car parking as a whole and come up with a viable solution - and that, surprisingly, may be achieved by actually sitting down and talking about the situation.

And it would help, too, that those working on car parking strategies actually came to realise that the problem in Royston is not the same as it is in Hitchin or Letchworth.

It's all right having district-wide schemes, but there surely comes a time when those making the decisions have to think local.

This is certainly one of those occasions.

Read(ing) all about it

JONATHAN Swift, the author of Gulliver's Travels, once said: "Books are the children of the brain."

Quite so.

So like most of us he would support the extended hours that are about to be introduced at Royston library.

It seems ironic that not too many years ago we were campaigning to save the library.

It looked then as though the library would become just another victim of the accountants looking to balance the books at County Hall.

It was then realised that a library and its staff are a key resource and play a vital role in the community.

Even in this day-and-age, reading a book still has its attraction.


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