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On-call NHS staff to get parking permits
AMBULANCE staff, midwives, doctors and other health workers may get special Southend Council parking permits to make it easier to do their jobs.
The council is considering issuing special health professional parking permits so they avoid fines if they park in residents’ and other parking bays when called out to patients.
Tony Cox, councillor responsible for transport, said doctors, district nurses and community psychiatric nurses, would be given the windscreen permits under the scheme.
The council has yet to decide to go ahead with it and there are concerns it would lose revenue as a result and mean more vehicles competing for controlled parking bays.
The proposal is in response to calls in the Commons from Rochford and Southend East MP James Duddridge for Southend to follow Basildon and Castle Point, both of which already have a similar scheme, Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles also supports such schemes and has said he wants to include them in a national consultation on parking.
Father-of-three Mr Duddridge decided to make the call after talking to a midwife visiting his wife at their Thorpe Bay home.
Speaking in the Commons last week, he said: “Healthcare professionals provide an invaluable service and allow people to stay safe and independent in their own home.”
Mr Pickles, who is also an Essex MP agreed, saying: “Clearly, district nurses and doctors want to go about their business without the fear of fines, and I also think it appropriate ambulances should be able to attend without the fear of parking fines.
“I think this should be done, and I will certainly include it in the consultation.”
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