Budget Cuts Target Town Centres

Proposals to bridge a £37.8m funding gap over the next four years include huge increases to parking tariffs and charging people on Council Tax support significantly more. Just some of the proposals put forward by the conservative cabinet are:

  • Remove the free 30-minute parking from Upminster, Hornchurch and Elm Park.
  • Increase charges from £1.50 for two hours to £2 for one hour.
  • Introduce a flat £1.50 charge to park on Sundays.
  • Introduce a Residents Only Parking scheme in a 1km zone around town centres
  • Charge those on Council Tax Support 25% of Council Tax rather than the current 15%, with disabled claimants increased to 20% from 15%. This giant hike will affect some 9,000 households who are least able to pay and, with Universal Credit, will cause great hardship.

Our High Streets already face enormous challenges with business rates, rents and on-line competition. These incredibly damaging proposals will be enough to deter any would be shopper and demonstrates an astonishing lack of understanding or empathy in local economies.

The final budget proposals for 2019/20 are due to be published on 30th January before being considered by the Council Conservative Cabinet on 7th February before requiring the approval of Full Council on February 27th.

We shall continue to keep residents updated through our website ,Bulletin and social media.

The Romford Recorder have also picked up on the parking charges proposal – see HERE.

Cllr Clarence Barrett

We shall work hard over the coming months to unpick this poorly constructed budget and present an alternative which will focus on sustainability, fairness and common sense.

  1. I have been informed (true or not ) that every Freedom Pass costs the council £300. Being a somewhat ‘Elderly’ area I suspect this is a large expenditure for Havering. Whilst I commend the principle that it aids those in most need, it in effect is also assisting some of the wealthier of our community. In fact when I spoke to an elderly friend last year, when renewing his pass, questioning when he would actually use it as I was of the opinion that he would drive ‘Everywhere’. He explained that he had never used it and really had no intention, however , as he was entitled he would have it just in case. I then explained that was rather selfish as the cost was passed onto less well off in the community. This was immediately met by a response of “I have paid my dues over the years, I am entitled to it “.
    As a recipient myself I would be more than willing to be assessed in order to make a payment. Just having discounted fares would be a big bonus but free in this current financial climate is possibly a little too generous.
    Just something to consider in contrast to other proposals which would affect those not so well off

  2. My understanding is that the Freedom pass is funded by parking charges and parking fines, so the cost falls on the motorist. So the more effective the council happens to be in enforcing the fines the less they will have to find.
    Also means testing would cost more than it would save.

  3. No Mike Havering Council pay for the Freedom Passes.
    It is not from parking charges etc.
    Yes Doug is correct they cost the Council around £300 each and should be used.
    The Council I believe we tracking down none users to request in an effort to save cash if they actually needed them..

    I use mine regularly and am thankful …especially when I travel to the Cricket or Football in London

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