Should parking increases be paid for by a council tax rise? VOTE

Furious woman hurls rubbish into street in parking row

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A public consultation was put forward in Tunbridge Wells to ask residents if they would  “rather pay for car parking via a £10 rise in council tax”. But do you think this is a good idea? Vote in our poll. 

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council put forward the proposal following plans to introduce several price hikes in car parks in the area from December 1.

Parking prices in some areas of Tunbridge Wells will increase by 33 percent, 50 percent and 65 percent, including the removal of some free parking areas.

The price of season tickets is also rising sharply, with most by £50 a year.

The six week consultation on parking charges, which ended on Setpember 5, sparked several complaints from residents.

One resident, Nasir Jamil, has campaigned against the loss of free parking, claiming that it will “kill businesses”.

He said: “Ultimately, this is exactly the wrong time to be implementing fee hikes for our town centres.

“Particularly when an assessment hasn’t been made on whether it might actually reduce income and economic activity, rather than increase income for the council as the coalition has assumed.

“I hope the cabinet will listen to the residents and leave the parking charges and free hours as it is. 

“If they did not listen I will organise a larger protest in the future until we get this sorted.”

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Council chiefs are due to decide on the proposal on Thursday, September 22.

According to the report which will be presented at cabinet, some 47 percent of respondents were supportive of the increase in parking charges.

The report also states that the council was previously prevented from increasing council tax for parking due to the annual increase cap of £5.

Council leaders have said the charges would help fill the £944,000 revenue budget hole in this financial year.

Many residents suggested that the number and cost of councillors and staff be reduced instead. 

So what do YOU think? Should parking be paid for by council tax rise? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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