"A ROW is brewing over a move to allow councillors in Torbay to apply for cheap parking permits.
Torbay Council has been reviewing its parking permit policy for staff, many of whom currently have the same free permits as councillors.
It is understood that after negotiations unions have thrown out moves to charge staff for their permits and discussions have now been held with workers on an individual basis to see if they should be charged or not.
But it has been revealed a move is afoot to allow councillors to reclaim for parking charges on their expenses while they are working, or pay £50 for an annual permit without being reimbursed.
Currently an all car parks pass costs £510. The news comes at a time when businesses and residents are complaining that current parking policies are driving people away from town centres and hitting trade.
Some 90 per cent of the 1,300 town hall staff and councillors have passes.
It has been emphasised that the £50 ticket is only a suggestion which is understood to come from the Tory group and has gone to other groups for consultation."
But Labour responded :
" Darren Cowell said: "I believe that whatever the policy is for staff it should be the same for members. There is no way we should be able to recoup charges from expenses or have a preferential £50 a year permit. I know some members struggle financially.
"But the principle of charging staff who are all hard pressed in economic times and not charging members is an absolute disgrace.
"If we're supposed to all be in this together, as the Tory group say we are, we should be all in this together."
And the Lib Dems had to stick in their to pennys worth :
"Steve Darling said: "I think it inappropriate that a different regime should be applied for staff, and what is emerging as a scheme to give members a bigger discount than staff."
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others it seems.
I spent a few summers in Torquay and will testify that it is a wonderful place to visit and live, their is some breathtaking views and apart from some step hills it is still one of my favorite places to visit, the people down their are great and the nights out are so much fun (hangover not so much) . I met lots of fantastic people (and some not so fantastic people) and can confirm that life is indeed a bit slower than London in most senses.
Aint that a beautiful view?