Agenda item

Variation to Parking Charges

The Council’s Medium Financial Strategy assumes that income from all charges should be reviewed.  The Off-Street Parking Strategy sets out that the vehicle parking tariffs will be kept under review to optimise yield.  This report sets out proposed tariff options for Committee to select from them.

[20 Minutes]


          Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Group Head of Technical Services presented the report to Committee. He explained that the Medium-Term Financial Plan considered at Policy and Finance Committee on 13 December 2022, recommended to Full Council the maximising of income including fees and charges, where possible, as part of the 2023-24 budget process. Car parking charges were discretionary and could be set by the Council in order to optimise its revenue in accordance with the Council’s recently adopted Off-Street Parking Strategy, which set out that the Council would review the charges annually. The Strategy aimed to maximise the use of car parks in a way that supported the needs of businesses, workers, shoppers, commuters, and visitors, whilst looking to optimise yield from parking in line with the corporate charging principles. The costs, including the corporate support services, had increased, and it was therefore necessary to increase revenues. This was mainly due to the effects of inflation such as its impact on the national living wage and energy prices. Other cost factors were associated with the Council’s move to reduce the carbon emissions from its parking service in line with its declared climate emergency and adopted carbon

neutral strategy.


The Group Head of Technical Services explained the proposals did not change the 2-hour free parking schemes that allowed parking in Fitzleet, Hothamton, and Lyon Street car parks in Bognor Regis and St. Martins, Anchor Springs and Manor House car parks in Littlehampton. The proposal did not include introducing charging to car parks which were currently free to users. The parking charges at the Fitzalan Pool car park in Arundel would also be unaffected.


Members then took part in a question-and-answer session and the following points were made:

·       It was asked why consultation had not been carried out. The Group Head of Technical Services explained that the process for adopting fees had been looked at, and although historically the Council had undertaken a consultation process, there was no obligation to do this if there were no other amendments to the Parking Order. The chosen approach had been taken due to compressed timescales.

·       It was noted that the current charges were not included in the report, so no comparison could be made between the current and proposed tariffs.

·       There was a large range of different percentage increases, none less than 11%, which was arguably higher than inflation at present. The Group Head of Technical Services explained that they had carried out some benchmarking and the proposed fees were below the average for almost every tariff in comparable districts.

·       Clarification was requested on some of the figures, which was provided by the Group Head of Technical Services

·       It was asked whether additional income generated from a rise in car park charges could be used in other areas of the Council such as Wellbeing. The Group Head of Technical Services did not believe this to be the case.

·       There was concern that it was unfair to try to reduce people’s use of cars without improving public transport in the area. The Group Head of Technical Services explained that paragraph 14 of the report clarified that the report was not intended to encourage a shift away from private car use.

·       One Member felt that the proposed increase in charges were not unreasonable in comparison to the many car parks that he used all around the country on a very regular basis.

·       With the cost of upkeeping the car parks increasing, additional money to support the maintenance of these car parks was required.

·       It was hoped some of the additional revenue would go towards additional electric charging points.

·       Was Ringo available in all car parks? The Group Head of Technical Services confirmed this was the case.

·       It was asked whether Fitzleet car park could be sold. The Group Head of Technical Services explained the Council was unable to do this.


Councillor Stanley proposed that debate on this Item be adjourned until the first meeting of the new municipal year, and in the meantime, Officers be instructed to carry out consultation prior to this meeting. This was seconded by Councillor Brooks.


Following a discussion, a vote was taken. With 5 Members voting for and 5 Members voting against, the Chair used his casting vote against, and the vote was declared LOST.


          The substantive recommendation was then proposed by Councillor Madeley and seconded by Councillor English.


          A recorded vote was requested. Those voting for were Councillors Bicknell, Chace, Edwards, English, Madeley, McAuliffe. Those voting against were Councillors Brooks and Stanley. Councillors Goodheart and Worne abstained from voting. The vote was therefore declared CARRIED.



          The Committee




That parking tariff option B be introduced with effect from 01 April 2023.

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