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‘Disasterous’ increase in car park charges expected to arrive in July

INCREASES to parking charges and the introduction of Sunday charges could come as soon as late July according to a Mendip District Councillor, who also revealed that the strategy has been branded a ‘disaster’.

At Frome Town Council’s Town Matters meeting last month, district councillor Damon Hooton said that the increases are a revenue generating exercise and that the council has no over-arching strategy for the district’s parking for the next 10-15 years.

The news has sparked fears for Frome’s economy, especially the revenue generated by Sunday trading and the future of the Frome Independent Market.

In response to the proposed changes, Frome Town Council voted unanimously at the meeting to request that the district and county council join them in preparing a comprehensive strategy covering both on and off street parking and transport movement through the town.

Cllr Hooton said, “I attended the scrutiny working group on car parking, held yesterday. What came out of the meeting, I’m afraid, is that this is a revenue generating exercise.

“Very interestingly, the Conservative councillors opened up the remarks with ‘this is a disaster’, so I think that even some of their councillors recognise that this is not a strategy as such.

“It was a volatile meeting. What is quite clear is that there is no over-arching strategy to discuss where they want to go in 10-15 years with parking across the district.

“Towns are going to increase in size, so you have to increase the services, increase car parking space you need and if you can’t do that, how are you going to deal with the displacement? They didn’t have a clue about what was going to happen. They didn’t want to have that type of strategy, which is quite worrying.

“The car park revenue generator doesn’t tie into the district council’s tourism strategy, which affects Wells and Frome, and it doesn’t tie in with the economic strategy.

“They didn’t seem to want to understand the displacement. If people don’t want to use the car park because of the increase in charges, or there isn’t enough space, where are they going to go? How is that going to be managed? Their comment was pretty much, ‘well that’s the county council’s problem’.

“Once this has been pushed through cabinet, and I am cynical enough to say that this will go through, they will then instigate a three week consultation period. After which they will impose the charges, likely to come in late July, early August.

Sunday charges could mean end of Independent Market

In response to the news that Sunday charging could arrive as soon as July, director of Frome Independent Market, Tabitha Clayson,  said that this will mean the end of the market. “We don’t have the capacity in this year’s budget to pay for the charges,” she said. “So we will have to raise trader pitch fees. We are already more expensive that Borough Market and we think that this will mean that traders will leave.

“Traders may try to park elsewhere, as will visitors. We  are already under review by the police regarding complaints about off-street parking. Logistically and financially it will mean the end of the market. Our jobs are on the line. The police will shut us down and the traders will leave.

“Frome will lose an estimated £2.5million that the Sunday market brings into the town and it will just go to other towns.”

In a change to the original plan, Mendip District Council have announced that the draft Car Park Strategy that was to be discussed by the cabinet this month, will be split into two parts. The proposed changes to car park charges will be discussed at the meeting on Monday 21st May.

A Mendip District Council spokesperson said, “As an outcome of recent discussions and feedback from key stakeholders, it has been decided that the draft Car Park Strategy 2018 – 2022 will now be split into two parts as outlined: Car Park Charges Review.  This will go to cabinet for consideration on 21st May; Car Park Strategy.  This is proposed to go to cabinet in September.

“We engaged with town and city councils and the Chambers of Commerce and as such have taken on-board their comments and listened to their feedback.  We will ensure that cabinet have a copy of comments received that linked to the original draft Car Park Strategy 2018 – 2022 prior to the cabinet meeting on 21st May. “

2 Responses to ‘Disasterous’ increase in car park charges expected to arrive in July

  1. Onlineviagra

    May 9, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    Thanks so much for the post.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

  2. Petrina White

    May 13, 2018 at 8:55 am

    The following is all in the public domain
    Car Parking Account – Income and Expenditure MDC
    2016/17,Gross Income £2,968,034.64
    2016/17,Gross Expenditure £1,581,027.10
    So that’s a net PROFIT £1,387,007.54 just from bloody parking charges….and they wanna squeeze out just a little bit more -outrageous!
    MDC Senior management salaries 16/17 totalled £877, 605

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