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