Braintree Council employees park for free at two sites in Braintree – Causeway House in Lakes Road and the upper floors of George Yard car park.
The authority is consulting on plans to charge £1 a day or pro rata depending on length of stay.
Thus bringing them into line with non-public sector employees. Well, except a few privileged members of a perceived identity group, that is:
Disabled parking will remain free.
Of course! Gotta keep those special interest groups happy!
Graham Butland, council leader, said: “Business people and people working in the centre of Braintree are absolutely amazed they have to pay for parking for their work and people at the council do not.”
He said the potential changes, along with overtime limits, reduced mileage allowances and increased employee contributions for lease cars, would save jobs.
And how have the staff welcomed this?
Well, as you’d imagine, really:
The GMB and Unison staff unions and most of the staff who responded to a consultation were opposed parking charges.
The objections were quite illuminating, though. With no-one quite daft enough to say that this was ‘unfair’, they had to come up with some very roundabout arguments for retaining it:
Phil Barlow, councillor, said: “People don’t just have an employment contract they have a psychological contract with their employer.“There are certain things I am sure Mr Butland has said they will be prepared to live with to make some savings to protect some jobs.
“But there is a line and it varies from person to person. Once you cross that you start to have an effect on morale.”
Yes, being told your perk of the job is being cut would be quite bad for morale, I’d imagine.
I guess all those in private industry not getting this perk in the first place can just suck it up, eh? Who cares about their morale?
Malcolm Fincken, councillor, said: “All the proposals mean our staff will have less to spend in local shops and businesses, which would lead to more closures and bankruptcies.“We would be contributing in our own small way to a continuing downward spiral.”
Well, that’s intriguing! Doesn’t that equally apply to all those non-public sector employees, though? Should everyone get free (i.e. taxpayer subsidised) parking, for the sake of the retail industry?
James Abbott, councillor, said: “We find the proposal to charge staff to park at their own office incomprehensible.”
I’ll simplify it for you: THERE’S NO MORE FREE LUNCH!