Bullion centre trips replaced by cash-free zones?

PUBLISHED: 14:00 06 February 2008 | UPDATED: 21:30 15 June 2010

PENSIONERS across East Devon could be left in a state of confusion if council officials turn car parks into 'cash-free' zones. That is the fear of grey power champion Albert Venison. The idea of 'cashless' car parks was discussed at a meeting of East De

PENSIONERS across East Devon could be left in a state of confusion - if council officials turn car parks into 'cash-free' zones.That is the fear of grey power champion Albert Venison.The idea of 'cashless' car parks was discussed at a meeting of East Devon District Council's Executive Board last week after it was revealed the collection of money from the district's 43 pay and display car parks is costing taxpayers around £60,000 per year.Under the new proposals drivers wishing to use EDDC-owned car parks will be forced to buy prepaid parking tickets on a monthly or annual basis or text their registration and payment details from a mobile phone.Head of finances at EDDC Diccon Pearce said: "Most of the cost of running the car parks is transferring the money to a bullion centre in Bristol."We might be moving to a cashless car park scheme in the future to reduce operating costs."EDDC leader Sara Randall Johnson said: "This is another good reason to buy our prepaid parking tickets."With these you pay once and it reduces our costs."But the news will not be welcomed by the elderly population of East Devon, some of whom may struggle with the technology.Albert Venison, president of the Devon Pensioners' Action Forum, said: "This is so ridiculous, it is impossible to believe intelligent people can sit down and sensibly discuss this."Tell them, I'll do it for free!"Is there not someone at EDDC capable of counting to more than 10? "I should hope so, the amount of money we pay them."A lot of pensioners don't own a mobile phone and if they do don't know how to text in a proper manner."They'll give up!"I'm sure EDDC are looking forward to the £60 fines this will incur from tourists who arrive without knowing about the scheme."The Executive Board had invited three tenders from contractors for the operation of its car park cash collection between April 2008 and March 2011, ranging from £57,888 to £129,414.The board voted to accept the bid from Contract Security Services at a cost of £54,090.

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