TAXPAYERS could foot an £8,000 bill for four car parking spaces for Canvey’s town council.
Controversial plans to buy the spaces, which will be for the exclusive use of town councillors or visitors to the offices, could be given the green light at a meeting this evening.
The spaces, in the High Street, are set to be sold at auction next Wednesday and the town council is worried, if they don’t snap them up, they will no longer be able to use them.
Canvey resident George Whatley is unconvinced.
Mr Whatley, 72, of Limburg Road, said: “I don’t understand why the town council would consider spending that much money on four parking spaces when parking is already available in that area.
“It will be a lot better for the council to make use of the public car parks, where they can park cheaper, than spend £8,000 buying parking spaces.”
The town council currently rents the spaces at a cost of £800 a year.
Dave Blackwell, leader of the Canvey Independent Party and Canvey Central ward councillor, also raised questions on whether it was a good investment.
He said: “We currently pay £800 a year to use the parking spaces. If we pay £8,000 to buy them then it would take years for us to make the money back.
“I think the asking price will go down, because I don’t think anyone else would bid for them because of the price.”
The auction will be led by auctioneers Hair & Son.
Joan Liddiard, town councillor representing Canvey South, said the council would be saving money by bidding for the spaces in the long run.
She said: “It would be good to get the spaces at a cheaper price, but we do feel the need to look at whether we are getting the best use of the spaces.
“We want to have access to them, so we are assessing our options. We have money in the reserves, but it is public money and as such needs to be closely monitored.”