Town car parking charges should ‘help economy’

CAR parking charges should be set as an ‘economic generator’ for Skegness, the town council has agreed.

Councillors decided to make the recommendation to East Lindsey District Council for consideration in its ongoing parking review during a recent meeting.

Coun Steve Kirk, raising the suggestion, said: “We need to say to them - what are you doing with car parking to drive the economy? Because there’s no doubt about it, cheaper inner town parking will help the economy.

“There must be times when they can give up a few hundred pounds in car parking charges to put a few thousand back into the economy.”

Although Coun Kirk accepted that Skegness’s car parks are a vital revenue generator, which ELDC could not afford to relinquish, he believes charge reductions during major events and other key times, could help businesses in the town.

However Coun Phil Kemp who sits on ELDC’s scrutiny committee carrying out the review, warned councillors that charge reductions may be unlikely, given their importance as revenue generator.

He said: “The whole reason this is being looked at is because parking is seen as a revenue generator and they are looking to maximise the amount they can generate - I hope we can get a fairer deal for our residents.”

ELDC’s parking charges currently differ widely throughout the district, with some towns featuring free parking and others offering all day parking far cheaper than Skegness’s £6 daily rate.

Faced with this disparity, several councillors wanted to call on ELDC to implement a more uniformed charging rate at all car parks for the sake of fairness. Coun Mark Smith said: “The one thing that we want is equity, there’s a view that we’ve been treated differently to other towns - all I would ask is that the parking’s the same across the whole district.”

Other suggestions included offering an hour’s free parking during quite times in the town, which Coun Sue Binch felt would help businesses.

And Coun Neil Cooper repeated his request for pay-to-leave barriers to be installed in the town’s car parks, which he felt would persuade visitors to stay longer and spend more.

This request had previously been deemed too expensive, but Coun Cooper felt its capacity to prevent travellers and ‘boy-racers’ misusing the car parks could save money overall.