Louth Town councillors have slammed ELDC’s decision to introduce evening car parking charges at all paid-for car parks across the district.
As reported previously, 10 car parks across the district will provide free parking all day from April 13, including the Cattle Market and Linden Walk car parks in Louth.
However, last month ELDC also confirmed that all of their paid-for car parks will be subject to a £2 evening car park fee, covering the period between 6pm and 8am. This change will also come into effect on April 13.
At Louth Town Council’s meeting last Tuesday (March 8), councillors dismissed the overnight charge as ‘outrageous’ and said that the policy hadn’t been properly thought through.
Coun Andrew Leonard said it would be ‘absolutely outrageous’ for ELDC to pay for at least two employees to monitor car parks throughout the night, as ‘the cost of the staffing alone would probably outweigh the fee’.
Coun Leonard suggested that, instead, money could be saved by ‘dumping’ the SO Festival or by abolishing the district council altogether.
He added: “People in Louth are sick and tired of being put on by the district council, and this is just another nail in the coffin.”
Coun Dave Wing said: “We’ve had enough trouble with on-street parking during the day, and now we’re going to get it at night.
“There’s an awful lot of activity that goes on in this town at night and these people have got to find somewhere to park. They will not park for £2 a time for a couple of hours.”
Coun Jill Makinson-Sanders added that she had read comments on Facebook from people who said they would park on Cannon Street to visit the cinema, which already gets quite busy in the evenings.
Following the meeting, an East Lindsey District Council spokesman confirmed that the Cattle Market car park and the Linden Walk car park both fall within the perimeter of the Cattle Market site.
He added: “Enforcement of the evening charge is factored into the council’s plans.
“District-wide, the council expects the charge to generate an additional £120,000 per annum to support the provision of local services.”
Portfolio holder for operational services Coun Sandra Harrison, said: “The District Council announced the proposal to consider introducing a £2 overnight charge on all its paid for car parks when it launched its draft Transformation Programme on December 8, 2015.
“Over the next four years the council needs to reduce its operating costs or increase its income by around £6,000,000 as Government funding to support local services continues to reduce.
“Whilst we accept there hasn’t been an overnight parking charge in East Lindsey before, this is something charged for in many other areas of the country and the charge being applied in East Lindsey offers good value for money.
“On April 13, the district council will return the Livestock Market Car Park and Linden Walk Car Park to free all day parking which we hope will go some way to supporting the business community in Louth.
“The Bridge Street car park continues to offer two hours free car parking.”
l What are your thoughts on the new charge? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.