Council ‘yes’ to free parking

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FREE parking, slashing the cost of student travel passes, money to improve rural broadband, and more money for flooding got the go-ahead at North Lincolnshire Council’s full council meeting as plans, under the revised revenue budget for 2010/11, were approved.

Coun Liz Redfern, the new council leader, pledged to protect front-line services and provide value for money for all residents.

More money is to be invested through money saved by cutting the use of consultants, conferencing and seminars, and a reduction in members’ allowances.

Budget highlights affecting the Brigg area are:

l Free parking for the first two hours in Brigg car parks from September 2011.

l Reduction in the cost of post-16 student travel passes from £185 to £30 for those living more than three miles from their college or sixth form.

l Front-line services protected and better value for money for all residents.

l Free swimming sessions maintained at Ancholme Leisure Centre for under 16s during school summer holidays.

l Extra money for foster care.

l More money for youth and leisure community engagement.

l Improved rural broadband.

l More money is to be spent on dealing with flooding and other adverse weather emergencies.

Coun Redfern said: “We have been prudent with the finances and have managed to save money.

“This has enabled us to provide free parking, reduce the cost of student travel passes, protect front-line services, and much more.

“We need to continue to look at how we can make more savings and provide better value for money, and deliver better services to residents.

“We will be looking to be more imaginative in how we deliver services and will continue to work with our partners and other councils.

“The free parking will help to stimulate business in Brigg. We can’t do everything all at once, but it’s a good start.

“These are without a doubt challenging times, but we must do all we can to protect front-line services, attract more investment to North Lincolnshire, and deliver value for money to all our residents. It’s what they deserve.”