A PROPOSAL to levy car parking charges on users of the district councils Knowle headquarters in Simouth was rejected by members on Wednesday. The mooted move, which it was claimed could net the council an extra £52,000 a year, was branded a joke by the authoritys leader. Councillor Roger Giles suggested making staff and others pay to use the 200-space site could help save £33,000 in flood prevention cash from being axed as EDDC looks to save millions of pounds. There is a large potential source of income totally within our control, said Cllr Giles. It is unfair that the general public and the businesses of East Devon have to suffer the consequences of £1 an hour public car park charges. He said. if each space provided 50pence income a day. that £26,000 a year would be raised. Mr Giles added that £52,000 a year would be raised if every space generated £1 a day. In response to the proposal, Sidmouth town representative, Cllr Chris Gibbings, feared any such move would see drivers shun the car park n search of free parking. He said: This is may ward and to dump 200 cars in the non-yellow line, non-residential parking areas around Knowle would not go down well with residents at all. EDDC leader, Cllr Sarah Randall Johnson, said of Mr Giles bid to save flood-prevention cash: If you think youre going to fund it out of car parking charges at Knowle thats a joke. A proposal to introduce parking charges at the site was defeated when the majority of councillors voted against the move. Eight were in favour.