Shock over EDDC online survey result

PUBLISHED: 11:09 10 February 2010 | UPDATED: 00:53 16 June 2010

AN online survey has revealed East Devon residents are prepared to pay more for parking.

AN online survey has revealed East Devon residents are prepared to pay more for parking.

AT a time when civic leaders are expressing serious concerns about economic pressures on the town centre, East Devon District Council says residents WANT to pay more for parking.

AT a time when civic leaders are expressing serious concerns about economic pressures on the town centre, East Devon District Council says residents WANT to pay more for parking.

Pay and display charges are already 85p an hour and the district authority is proposing to increase the fee to £1.

Just a week after local councillors claimed the town centre is at a disadvantage, because of free parking at out-of-town retail outlets, the district council says a majority of those responding to an online survey were in favour of raising car parking charges.

Outraged traders cannot believe anyone would vote to pay more.

Estate agent Roger Hemming, who describes the fees as "a stealth tax", said: "Who in their right mind would vote for an increase in taxes and fees?

"It beggars belief.

"The town centre is at a disadvantage."

David Hayler, chairman of Honiton and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: "Why would turkeys vote for Christmas? It's nonsense!

"The chamber does not support an increase to parking charges and we don't like the existing fees."

Mr Hayler added: "I would like to see the online survey and to know who the respondents were."

The Midweek Herald put the topic of parking charges to the district council following our phone-in last Friday, which prompted complaints about the proposed increase.

We passed on readers' concerns to Knowle. The council responded: "This is at variance with the findings of EDDC's recent online survey, in which a majority of respondents were in favour of raising car park fees and our proposed improved season ticket deal for residents.

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