Councillors told to scrap free parking at Havant offices

An RAF Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II jet

MPs grill defence firm and military top brass over F-35 PR disaster

Councillors have been asked to scrap free parking for them outside their town hall.

Havant Lib Dems put in a motion calling on senior officers and councillors to pay to park next to Havant Borough Council.

Councillor Faith Ponsonby, who represents Battins ward, in Leigh Park, said this would put the council in line with other organisations, including hospitals, where doctors and nurses must pay.

Tory council leader Tony Briggs said he would now look at the idea as part of the major review of the council's travel plan for the 13m redeveloped civic campus.

Cllr Ponsonby said the money raised in parking charges - which she has worked out to be around 25,000 a year - could be used to fund temporary skips around the borough for people without transport who cannot afford to pay for rubbish to be taken away.

'It should only be until 4.30pm so that people attending meetings at 5pm could park for free,' said Cllr Ponsonby.

'If you have council work during the day you get an allowance and that could be used to pay for it.

'Anyone doing a job of work expects to pay for parking, even if you work at a hospital.

'I don't think it's right that we don't pay when everyone else has to.

'It's what we get an allowance for.'

Cllr Ponsonby said fellow Lib Dem colleague Cllr Ann Buckley refuses to use the free car park on principle, preferring to pay at the council-run car park across the road from the civic offices.

But at the full council meeting where the matter was debated Hayling councillor Victor Pierce-Jones was visibly angered by the proposal.

He said: 'If I am forced to pay I will simply park for free at Tesco down the road, park there for two hours, and push off.'

Cllr Ponsonby withdrew her motion at the council meeting after Cllr Briggs' decision to include it in the travel plan review.

Speaking at the meeting Cllr Briggs said: 'We're looking at a travel-to-work plan coupled with the development of the public service village.

'I will undertake with Cllr Collins for him to look at the costings (of the skips) so we fully understand the cost implications.'

>> Vote in our latest web poll.