THURROCK Council has introduced plans for residents in Grays town centre and Stanford-le-Hope to get free parking permits.

The proposals will see two free permits issued per household in areas of the towns where there are controlled parking zones.

The scheme will cost the council £24,000, as it is looking into issuing permits that normally cost £22 for free. Should households require a third parking permit, however, it will cost £66.

Cllr Angie Gaywood, portfolio holder for public protection, said: “In these undoubtedly difficult financial times, I think everyone who will still get the benefits of having a resident’s permit without the cost will agree this is a great improvement.”

But Tory councillors in Ockendon are unhappy their town, and in particular Tamerisk Road, which is blighted by commuter parking, has not been included in the scheme. Cllr Lynn Carr said: “While Grays and Stanford are getting free parking permits, Ockendon is Labour’s forgotten man once again.”

But Cllr Gaywood insisted Ockendon is being considered, along with Tilbury and the Badgers Dene area.