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 approved by the conservative cabinet this week (29 Nov) 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%. This giant hike will affect some 9,000 residents 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 Cabinet report containing the full budget proposals can be seen HERE.

Whilst there will be further consultation on some of the parking proposals, 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.

Cllr Clarence Barrett

8 Comments
  1. To remove the free 30 minute parking from Upminster and Cranham carparks is so shortsighted and detrimental to our local shops.
    This policy will further deter local residents from just popping down to use our local shops.
    The result is to further penalise residents for shopping locally.
    To encourage the use of the superstores which have free parking.
    To encourage more on line shopping.
    If the Council want to destroy our local shops and further reduce the revenue that they receive from Business Rates, then they are going the right way to achieve it.

  2. Totally agree with the comment. I always shop local but I won’t if just chains. Might aswell go to Lakeside.

  3. Local shops are struggling enough. The proposed parking charges will be the final nail in their coffins.

  4. The Council has a death wish for local communities

  5. If the free 30 minute charge is removed I will stop using my local high street and just go to the main supermarket or shopping center. I reduced my time spent on the local high streets when the original parking fees changed in the last few years.

  6. That’s my shopping at Aldi gone. I’ll be off to Lydl Ockendon, or Harold Hill

  7. I totally agree with Richard.Do Councillors proposing these decisions really want to destroy our local shopping centres and reduce the revenue from business rates.

  8. This is offensive to all residents that are
    *Disabled
    *Elderly
    *young children
    *This is restricttive to the non able body people that are unable to access their local community services/ sites e.g .Accessing schools,post office, library’s, medical services like chemists, doctors, dentists, banks, opticians and so on. Via public transport because these people cannot commute in any other way e.g by walking, riding a bike etc into town to accesss services in upminster and Cranham!
    Or people that just cannot afford to pay the costs of parking charges!

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