A controversial proposal to bring back overnight parking charges in council car parks across East Lindsey has been deferred.
The decision over the planned £2 overnight charge comes just as businessmen in Skegness challenged East Lindsey District Council (ELDC) on the proposals, claiming parking charges in the resort would be more expensive than other similar sized holiday destinations
The Skegness and District Area Chamber of Commerce had written to ELDC calling for a halt in the process ‘so that a full and frank review of the costs and benefits and options can be entered into’.
A copy of the letter from Chamber chairman Tony Tye to ELDC chief executive Stuart Davy was sent to the Skegness Standard and we contacted the authority for a comment.
In his letter to Mr Davy, Mr Tye said: “Sadly, our trust with you has been trampled as you have unilaterally imposed car parking charges without the consultation that as partners we should reasonably expect.
“What Chamber asks is that the process is halted immediately so that a full and frank review of the costs and benefits and options can be entered into.”
Concern had also been expressed by Winthorpe ward councillor Danny Brookes. He said: “Until three years ago an all-day ticket in Skegness went until 10pm, allowing our day trippers to enjoy the beach and then get their fish and chips, have a walk along the prom, getting back to their cars about 9pm-ish, load up and head back home having had a fantastic full day in Skegness.
“Three years ago the district council wanted to offer free parking after 6pm so made the all-day ticket til 6pm, then free after that – ‘great’ the Skegness traders thought, ELDC giving a little back to Skegness.
“But now charging overnight is not only charging overnights, it’s charging early evening so any day tripper who would like to enjoy fish and chips or walk along the prom will have to go back to the car and put £2 extra on it, making the all-day ticket £9. We are more expensive than Scarborough and other similar sized towns.”
In a statement to the Skegness Standard, a spokesman for ELDC said the implementation of the £2 overnight charge on paid for car parks provided by East Lindsey District Council will be deferred.
Leader of the council Coun Craig Leyland said: “Over the coming months as part of the Asset Management Plan that is being developed an independent piece of research will be conducted into the economic and financial impact of car parking charges in the district. Given the feedback on the overnight charge and this impending piece of work it seems sensible to defer the overnight charge until we have a full understanding of the impact of car parking charges.
“This does not affect the reintroduction of free car parking that was the outcome of a separate piece of work conducted by Overview and Scrutiny Committee.”
Portfolio holder for Operational Services Coun Sandra Harrison said: “Car parking is a vital income stream to the district council, particularly as councils are being pushed by Central Government to rely on the funding they generate locally. All income generated through car parks goes towards the cost of providing the council’s many and varied services to the community. The council does, however, recognise that car parking arrangements, including the cost to park and tariff structures, have an impact on a significant number of people and whilst there will never be a solution that suits every circumstance, the council will be looking at the matter over the coming months to ensure the arrangements are the best they can be.”