FREE parking for half an hour, a cap on charges, and no fees after 6pm on Sunday’s and bank holidays.
This is what Horncastle Town Council has formally asked East Lindsey District Council to consider during its Scrutiny Review of Car Parking Arrangements.
At their meeting last week, town councillors unanimously voted to support these measures in order to boost trade in Horncastle. Members also called for more disabled parking to be provided.
ELDC is currently conducting a review of all of the council run car parks in the district and are looking to bring charges into line across the district.
Coun Sandra Campbell Wardman said: “I think when it comes to the free parking we cannot expect it all the time, but I think overall we need to look at disabled parking, there are only two spaces on the Market Place.
“There are a lot of parts to this consultation but I do think we should still push for free parking.”
Coun Ann Wayne also called for free parking to be retained on Saturdays and bank holidays after suggestions that charges could be introduced 365 days a year, as in Skegness.
Coun Richard Barker said: “Business is not easy at the moment and we need to encourage people to come use this town.”
As reported in last week’s Horncastle News, Horncastle’s Chamber of commerce is also pushing for free parking of up to an hour to be introduced in town in an attempt to boost trade.
But Horncastle town and district councillor Steve Newton, who until this week held the portfolio for car parking at ELDC, said the revenue earned from pay and display was vital to the district authority.
He added: “ELDC car parking charges have not gone up since 2005/6.
“They cannot stay at the same fee forever so that is why this piece of work is being done.
“The new machines give us the intelligence we have not had before on how well car parks are being used and the income they make.
“With this intelligence, in September or October, we may be able to see half hour free in the Market Place. I’m not saying we will, but we may.”
He added: “Car parking is probably one of the most emotive questions we have, but we have to make tough decisions.
“Car parking revenue in East Lindsey is massive and it helps keep council tax low.
“We have a large deficit in our budget next year, £1.2million, and we have to find money to fill that.”
Town councillors will also be looking for guarantees that parking on The Wong will remain free when ELDC relinquish control of it and that independent organisations are not able to set up clamping schemes.
The scrutiny review is expected to be complete in the autumn with any changes to car parking coming in during the next financial year, 2013/14.
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Weather for Horncastle
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 18 C
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Wind direction: North west
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