Wednesday, 1 July 2009

THANET COUNCIL TO INCREASE PARKING CHARGES?


A number of local business people have been in contact to say that they have been told that Thanet Council may be planning to increase parking charges. Some of them have asked for free short parking for say the first 15 or 30 minutes. This suggestion I am told has been rejected despite the tough economic times for businesses. Some have said the enforcement of parking charges means that passing shoppers who might just quickly stop and pop in are instead going to shops outside the town centre. They feel this again favours Westwood Cross over ton centre shops.
I understand the new scheme is that it will be 20p for the first 10 mins and then to pay 1.5p for every minute after that up to 2 hours. This seems a bit complicated and like the business owners I am unclear as to how this will work. Rumour has it that the proposed 6 month trial scheme will come into force on Monday.
I am amazed that such a matter of public interest is apparently being treated as a secret confidential matter. It is unfortunate that when people call you as a councillor asking you what is going on, that you are unable to assist them.
Why can we not have an open debate on parking? Why does Thanet Council not consult local shoppers and business people with say 2 or 3 different options to see what local people want? Why impose something that they no doubt have carefully worked on, but which may have overlooked the views of the community?
It is regrettable that local people and local councillors are being kept in the dark. Will people be confused by the new scheme and then be penalised?
It really is simple as to what should be done. Here's an email I received today from a council officer:

"Within the next few days, we intend to publish details of Members' Allowances on the internet; that is to say, the allowances payable to Councillors in the current municipal year and those paid to them in the previous municipal year.

We are already required by law to publish this information in a local newspaper and we plan to publish, on the internet, exact equivalents of those notices.

As a matter of courtesy, we are informing you of our plans before they are implemented.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to let us know."
Now that is the way to do it, I will write again if I get an email telling me about the parking charges. If nothing is happening, a number of business people have been unnecessarily bothered.
Some members of the Cabinet complain that local people get the wrong impression of Thanet Council. Perhaps they should look at how they are selectively releasing this information on changes in parking charges to see why people get that impression. I wonder whether the new scheme will actually be an opportunity to disguise an increase? That might explain the secretive way the information is currently being treated.

3 comments:

  1. Robbing bastards and they wonder why the high street is dead ! or full of bloody charity shops.

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  2. The only answer I can see to help business in our towns is for the shops to give a token governed by the amount of spend,and that token will buy a certain amount of parking time when put in the parking machine,the token would only be given on prodution of a valid parking ticket tear of portion the tokens could be saved up and used when required by the motorist,the negative side the machines would need modifying That should not prove to difficult,
    Stargazer.

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  3. This project was a proposal put forward to TDC by Broadstairs Chamber of commerce along with other ideas.This was researched in detail and was by far the favoured scheme and was agreed to be trialed by TDC .This was not a TDC idea and consultation was made in detail between all the main shopping areas

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