by Gareth Wilson on 15 March, 2013
Local Liberal Democrats have expressed astonishment at the last-minute decision by East Cambs Conservative leader Peter Moakes to scrap his flagship policy of charging for car parking in Ely. Cllr Moakes’s move comes only eighteen days after he opposed a Lib Dem proposal not to introduce the charges, and only seven and a half weeks before the council elections on 2 May. Cllr Moakes’s budget included income of £155,000 from car parking charges – money he will now have to find from elsewhere.
East Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrat group leader Gareth Wilson said: “On 21 February, the Liberal Democrats proposed a budget amendment in the council chamber to scrap the Conservatives’ car parking charge plans and suggested how the budget could be balanced if this projected income were therefore lost. Peter Moakes and his Conservative colleagues voted our proposal down.
“Now, only two and a half weeks later, Cllr Moakes has realised he should have backed the Lib Dem proposal after all. But having U-turned on his own plans between meetings, he’s now casting around for ways to make his budget balance. Not only is this incompetence, it’s also blatant electioneering by the Conservatives, and shows how worried they are about their prospects in the elections on 2 May.”Leave a comment