All too often the public are treated as “Cash Cows” when it comes to parking charges.
Responsibility for Car Parking & Charges in Shepway belongs to Andy Blaszkowicz, Head of Commercial and Technical Services (pictured left) and Councillor Ann Berry, Cabinet Member for Transport and Commercial (pictured right)
Shepway District Council (SDC) owns and operates 34 car parks throughout the district. Twenty two of the car parks are already pay and display; the remaining 12 are free.
Proposals will go before SDC’s Cabinet on Thursday 14th Dec to increase residents and business permits by £10 per year for the next three financial years and hotel guest vouchers by 50p from 1st April 2018 will be put forward. If that wasn’t enough proposals to increase charges in some of the 22 chargeable car parks from 1 April 2018 have been put forward. The proposals will, if implemented, bring in a potential additional income of £171,416 which will go some way in easing the budget pressures the council will face in the coming years. SDC have also proposed to introduce charges from the 1st April 2018 in three of the nine free car parks (Stripes Club, The Lade, Wilberforce Road). This will need a consultation.
Now for those of you who do not know, if SDC do nothing, the cumulative anticipated deficit forecast by 2021/22 will be £6,5 million. Now of course, SDC will not do nothing and the only three places they can get money, is
You the public
Make cost savings
Now we anticipate SDC will possibly use all three measures.
Income receipts generated from Shepway’s 22 charging car parks over the past three years have shown an upward trend for the vast majority of the chargeable car parks. Only four from the 22 car parks have recorded a downward income trend. Between April 14 and March 17, SDC’s Net Car Parking Income minus VAT, has been £2.74 million.
The four car parks which have shown a net downturn are Harbourside, Castle Road, Church Road and Coast Drive. This can be seen in SDC’s table they have produced.
SDC Officers have proposed to remove the 30 minute tariff in Folkestone Car Parks and replace it with a minimum charge of one hour. Increase charges in the Sandgate Rd car park, remove 1st hour tariff of 60p and replace with a £1.00 charge this applies to New Romney short stay Car park as well. To increase all Folkestone car parks from £1.00 per hour to £1.20. For all Long stay car parks across district a 10p increase is proposed for the all day charge. Just these changes alone are anticipated to bring in a potential income of £114,416.
So are SDC treating residents and visitors to the district as cash cows? Only you can answer that.
There will be notification in the Folkestone & Hythe Express and in the car parks of the proposed increases. The public will be given 21 days to send any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. so keep your eyes open and send in those comments people.
There will be free car parking for three Saturdays before Christmas in all Shepway pay and display car parks and on-street bays on the following dates.
The Car Parking Review report to Cabinet can be read here
The Shepwayvox Team